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,M% ,Maiiitx 

From whose high faith, spiritual courage, and 

saintly sacrifice I first drew the inspiration 

and ideals that have enabled me to 

combat the world, I dedicate 

this history in grateful 

and affectionate 








» incorporated 


' The sun shines bright in my old Kentucky home, 

'Tis summer, the darkies are gay! 
The corn top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom, 

While the birds make music all the day." 


And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, 
and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 

And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and 
bare Enoch; and he builded a city, and called the 
name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 

And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat 
Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and 
Methusael begat Lamech. 

And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name 
of the one was Adah, and the name of the other 

Zlllah. Genesis IV. 16-19. 

I make this quotation from the Holy Book 
to show that even in the earliest history of 
Man there was a well-defined ambition to main- 
tain the integrity of descent. It has ever been 
thus. The pride of lineage is universal, and is 
attractive alike to priest and to layman. But 
^n a democracy, my own feeling is that lineage 
should yield to achievement, for history is, 
after all, simply the biography of man's accom- 

It has come to be a widespread practice in 
our country for people of means to nurture 
their family trees. When the past does not 
produce them naturally, it is not difficult to 
procure whole forests. The professional pro- 
vider of ancestry does a thriving business. I 
have neither the need nor the intention to en- 
list his offices. 


My sole purpose in preparing this little 
book is to present a history of the Bernheim 
Family in general and that of Isaac Wolfe 
Bernheim 's in particular. It is for private 
circulation, and therefore I have dealt with 
intimate things. I have adhered strictly to 
facts, and if statements are made that may 
grate harshly upon the ears of some Bernheim 
of a future generation, let there be palliation 
for this in my well-known innate sense of fair- 
ness and truth and my abhorrence of all that 
is false and hypocritical. 

What follows is but a tiny rivulet in the 
mighty stream of Jewish narrative. The his- 
tories of many Jewish families are part of a 
larger story, wherein Romance blends with 
Tragedy in a great race-epic. The Jew, master 
of the Ages, has made his triumphant way 
through the travail of persecution and the 
throes of martyrdom to a mighty place in world 
power, and I am proud and glad that the record 
of my family should take its place in Hebraic 

The Jew was so long on the defensive that 
no opportunity was given him for the prepara- 
tion of those family records which reveal so 
intimately the character of any people. Realiz- 
ing the lack of such literature, I have ventured 
to write this modest 'volume in the hope that 
the Bernheims of to-morrow may find some- 
thing of profit in the chronicle of their kinsman 

of to-day. ».-,•«. 

I. W. B. 



From whose high faith, spiritual courage, and 

saintly sacrifice 1 first drew the inspiration 

and ideals that have enabled me to 

combat the world, I dedicate 

this history in grateful 

and affectionate 





The Story of the Bernheim Family 1 

The Gift of the Jefferson Monument 99 


Appendix 123 







The Name Beknheim. 

THE name Bernheim, meaning Berne- 
homer or Bern-home, is undoubtedly 
of (xerman origin. It is derived 
from the city of Berne, which in the 
Fourteenth Century formed part of the Ger- 
man-speaking section of what is now Switzer- 
land, and which had harbored for many genera- 
tions a large and prosperous settlement of Jews. 

In the year 1348, the tales concerning the 
poisoning of the brooks and wells by Jews first 
found credence in the southern part of France, 
where the Black Death at that time had 
obtained many victims. In a certain town of 
southern France, one day in the middle of 
May, 1348, the whole Jewish Congregation, 
including men, women, and children, together 
with their holy writings, were cast into the 

From that place the slaughter spread from 
country* to country until it reached Berne, 
where the annihilation of the Jews on the 
charge of poisoning was systematically carried 
out. The consuls of Berne, according to 


Gratz's History of the Jews, were particularly 
active in ' this persecution. They addressed 
letters to Basle, Freiburg, Strasburg, Cologne 
and many other places, stating that the Jews 
had been found guilty of the crimes charged 
to them. 

It would indeed be interesting to follow the 
history of these unfortunate victims of a blind 
hate in their wanderings, but poverty and inse- 
curity of life gave them neither time nor incli- 
nation to engage in historic work. Suffice to 
say, that my great-grandfather, Loeb Bern- 
heim, well known in Schmieheim as "Loebele 
of Thiengen," emigrated during the middle 
part of the Eighteenth Century from Switzer- 
land to Schmieheim, a small village in the 
southern part of the Grand Duchy of Baden, 
and it is in that poor but hospitable village that 
the writer of this history first saw the light of 
day. r 

My grandfather, Solomon Bernheim, born 
in 1772, was the youngest of the four sons of 
Loeb Bernheim, all of whom lived and died in 
Schmieheim. The Jew, in the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury, had neither rights nor privileges save 
such as were purchased for money or were 
given to him as matter of favor or charity. He 
was forbidden by law to own real estate of any 
kind.^et he was forced to pay taxes. He had 
no voice in the management of the affairs of 
the municipality, and could hold no office. 
Despite these deprivations, he was impressed 




for military duty, but could not even become a 
corporal. In bis attempt to eke out a miserable 
existence, be could follow only tbe vocation of 
peddler or trader, middleman or broker. 

It was not until tbe latter part of tbe Eigh- 
teenth Century, when the liberating spirit of 
the French Revolution began to spread its 
enlightening and generous rays even into the 
most remote recesses of Germany, that the Jew 
was treated more humanely and his circle of 
activity became somewhat larger. He was then 
allowed to become a merchant, to learn a trade, 
to follow some of the professions, notably those 
of lawyer and doctor, and to become an owner 
of land. 

My grandfather, Solomon Bernheim, who 
bad lived under these unfortunate restrictions 
that beset his people, was a soldier in the great 
Napoleon's army. He was a courier, and serv- 
ed with credit. On his discharge he followed 
the occupation of itinerant merchant, and as a 
side issue handled old iron, rags, beeswax, and 
similar products in Waldkircb, a town about 
twenty miles distant from Schmieheim. 

Well do I remember him. He was a man of 
medium size, well knit and sinewy, with finely 
developed features, broad forehead, and bushy 
white hair. He had an intensely religious na- 
ture, and was devout in the performance of his 
religious duties. He was equally upright in his 
home life. His wife, Ella Schnurman, was also 
a native of Schmieheim. She is said to have 


been one of those sympathetic yet strong 
women who have ever been the refuge and pre- 
server of Israel. * 

Out in the open a Jew might and did suffer 
abuse, contumely, and derision, experience all 
kinds of disappointments, make sacrifices in- 
numerable in order to earn enough to hold body 
and soul together. Yet in his home he would 
always find that tender sympathy, that peculiar 
spiritual encouragement, and above all that 
loyal affection from wife and children which 
steeled him to new endeavors and made him 
proof against all temptations. Such was the 
wife of my grandfather — a veritable mother in 
Israel ! They raised a family of seven children, 
comprising five daughters and two sons, of 
which the older, Leon Solomon Bernheim, was 
my sainted father. He was born in Schmie- 
heim on September 19, 1808. 

My grandfather remained poor because of 
the expense of raising a large family. He was 
a firm believer in the value of a thorough edu- 
cation. Both my fatber and his brother, my 
uncle Henry Bernheim, who emigrated to the 
United States in 1850 and who died about 1878 
in Selins Grove, Penna., where he was a mer- 
chant, received their education first in the He- 
brew School at Schmieheim and later in a small 
graded school at Ettenheim, about four Ameri- 
can miles from Schmieheim. 

In those days a man, in order to become a 
licensed merchant, had to pass an examination, 


before a regularly constituted official board, in 
German, correspondence, bookkeeping, and kin- 
dred subjects. In fact, no one was permitted 
to engage in commercial pursuits without first 
having successfully passed such an examina- 

My father received his license as merchant 
and was the first Jew to open a regular store 
in his native town. His commercial career was, 
considering the unsatisfactory conditions, a 
fairly creditable one. The first fruits of his 
labor went toward the support of his immedi- 
ate family. Then as now, in Europe, it was im- 
perative that each marriageable daughter be 
provided with a dowry of a certain sum in cash, 
together with an outfit of linens and other arti- 
cles with which to start a household. Imagine 
the task of my father! 

He provided outfits and dowries for five sis- 
ters, purchased a modest home for his aged 
father, and then, after all these obligations 
had been performed, began to consider serious- 
ly his own happiness. As the head of a mer- 
cantile establishment,- blessed with what was in 
those days considered a liberal competency, and 
above all, endowed with physical attractions 
of no mean order, he was considered a great 
catch by the maidens of all the surrounding 
country towns. He was blonde, broad-shoulder- 
ed, and stood over six feet in his stockings. 

In the choice of a wife he did not look for 
money — rather for good family connections, 


education, and physical charms. He found all 
these qualities combined to a remarkable degree 
in the lovely person of Fanny Dreyfuss, from 
the neighboring town of Altdorf. She was 
recognized as the fairest girl in all that country, 
was eighteen years of age, and had a mind far 
above the average. 

Her father, Eabbi Moses Baer Dreyfuss, 
was a merchant in Altdorf. He had far more 
interest in the study of the Bible, the Talmud, 
and other intellectual pursuits, than in his busi- 
ness, however, and consequently it did not pros- 
per. Her mother, the daughter of the Reader 
of the Jewish Congregation of Altdorf, was a 
member of the village aristocracy, as rural 
aristocracy went in those days, and was an 
intellectual and influential force in the com- 

Babbi Dreyfuss died after a few years of 
happy married life, leaving three girls and two 
boys, one of whom, Mr. Samson Dreyfuss, is 
still living. He is a successful merchant, and 
occupies the highly respectable and much 
sought-after position of Town Councilor in 
Freiburg in Baden. 

Another brother, Mr. Samuel Dreyfuss, 
emigrated to America about 1850, settling in 
Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky, where 
he conducted a successful mercantile business 
until 1861. Then, broken in health, he returned 
to Freiburg in Baden, where he entered the 
wholesale notion business with his brother 
Samson. He died in 1896. 








One of the sisters, Miss Babette Dreyfuss, 
became the wife of M. Livingston, a well-to-do 
merchant of Paducah, Kentucky. She died in 
confinement, of nervous shock produced by the 
bombardment of Paducah by the Confederate 
forces under General Forrest in 1863. 

The third sister, Miss Jeannette Dreyfuss, 
married Mr. Benjamin Weille, a respected mer- 
chant of Paducah, Kentucky, became the mother 
of an interesting family, and is, at this writing, 
still in the enjoyment of robust health. 

My Pabents. 

My father was a progressive business man, 
and, as far as the law permitted, met with his 
full measure of success. He became the owner 
of a*modest home, which later on, by various 
additions, became, next to the old castle, the 
tallest house in Schmieheim. He enlarged his 
business, became a wholesale buyer and seller 
of wine, which was produced in large quantities 
in our community, and also became a land owner 
in a modest way. 

At the time of his marriage my father was 
thirty-six. Next to the wife of the Rabbi, my 
mother quickly became "the first lady" in the 
Jewish community of Schmieheim. Attractive 
in person, she was no less attractive in fine 
qualities of mind and heart. She was well edu- 
cated. After going through the village school 
her father sent her to Strasburg, which was 


then a part of France. Here she became profi- 
cient in the French language, as well as in the 
higher branches of housekeeping, such as sew- 
ing, embroidering, dressmaking, and millinery. 

She was religious, but not bigoted, and to 
her credit be it recorded that she was the first 
woman in all that country brave enough to dis- 
card the old and hideous custom of concealing 
her hair after she entered the married state. 
This created a great commotion in Schmieheim, 
and it was more than a generation before the 
reform movement became general among the 
married women. 

My mother was a reader of the best German 
literature, and being gifted with a fine memory 
she retained much that she read. She thus be- 
came an interesting conversationalist and a 
delightful correspondent. Her letters to me 
showed a graceful style, elegant diction, and 
often a depth of feeling and of thought that 
made them peculiarly charming. 

With all these accomplishments, however, 
she remained a level-headed, practical woman, 
so that when, in 1850, my father's eyesight be- 
came defective, and when shortly afterward he 
became temporarily blind by reason of the 
formation of a cataract, she assumed control of 
the business and managed it with skill and 
ability for nearly two years. My father's sight 
was then restored by an operation of Professor 
Schelius of Heidelberg, who had then a world- 
wide reputation as an oculist. 



Despite the disparity in the ages of my 
parents, their family life was always an ideally 
happy one, though it was interspersed with 
periods of great sorrow. The eldest child, 
Henry, a bright boy, died when he was about 
two years old. The second child, Rosalie, died 
in her babyhood. My father was devoted to 
his family and idolized his children. 

A story told me on one of my visits to 
Schmieheim by an aunt, Mrs. Marie Rosenstiehl, 
now over eighty years old, clearly illustrates 
his affection for his children. My parents 
visited a fair in a neighboring village, leaving 
the children in charge of their aunt. A servant 
was sent to the cellar to draw some wine for 
the midday meal, and either through negligence 
or ignorance failed to properly close the spig- 
ot. All the remaining wine leaked out. 

The accident was discovered late in the 
afternoon by my aunt, who, realizing the loss 
and feeling the weight of responsibility for it, 
started on foot to meet my parents, so as to 
break the sad news as gently as possible. My 
father perceived his sister from a distance, and 
noting her excitement quickly rushed toward 

"What is the trouble, Marie?" he asked. 
"What accident has occurred? Are the chil- 
dren all right?" 

"Yes," replied Marie, "your children are 
safe and sound, but a cask of wine has been 
lost during your absence." 



"Never mind the wine as long as the chil- 
dren are all right," replied my father. 

The loss, which was a serious one, was not 
mentioned again that evening. 

My father gradually accumulated property. 
Prosperity sometimes makes people better, and 
in some instances it has the opposite effect. 
Frequenth' it produces increased avarice, 
breeds pride, and develops self-conceit. I am 
proud to say that prosperity made my father 
a truer, deeper, and more useful man. By na- 
ture broad-minded and big-hearted, his fortune, 
if fortune it can be called, made him all the 
more sympathetic toward the poor and needy 
and increased his influence for good in the small 

He followed closely the Biblical injunctions 
as to charity. One tenth of whatever he raised 
in his fields, and one tenth of his profits in other 
pursuits, conscientiously went to the poor. The 
doors of his store were never closed to the 
needy when suffering for the necessaries of 

In a small community almost evenly divided 
between Jew and Gentile, differences often 
arose which threatened to produce bitter feel- 
ing between them. My father on many such 
occasions acted as peacemaker. Although 
neither permitted to vote nor to hold office, he 
was often called into consultation about impor- 
tant matters by the Mayor and by the minor 
officials in the town. 



At the very height of his greatest usefulness 
lie was stricken with pneumonia, and, after an 
illness lasting but eight days, died on January 
9, 1856, in his forty-eighth year. Besides his 
widow, who was just thirty, he left three chil- 
dren, and one yet unborn. I was the oldest, 
and had just passed my seventh year, having 
been born November 4, 1848. 

My Childhood. 

I am now in my sixtieth year. As I look 
backward over the stretch of my years, trying 
to figure out which particular period of my exis- 
tence has been the happiest, I always arrive at 
the conclusion that it was the space of time be- 
tween my birth and the death of my dear father. 
We children were idolized by our parents ; our 
every want was gratified ; we were indeed rear- 
ed in the lap of luxury, as far as luxuries went 
in those days. 

The death of my father brought about tre- 
mendous changes in our family affairs. The 
life of my mother, like that of her children, 
became, from that time on and for years there- 
after, one of trial and disappointment. The 
youngest of my brothers was born three months 
after the death of my father; he died in in- 
fancy. Another little brother, Karl, died 
shortly thereafter, in his second year. The 
old maxim that troubles never come singly was 


sadly verified in our case, and my mother suf- 
fered as it falls to the lot of few mortals to 

The estate was ample to provide comfort- 
ably for us all, but it required careful attention 
and close application to details. Burdened with 
a family of small children and weighed down 
by sorrow, my mother was unable to devote the 
necessary time and attention to it. The ab- 
sence of the beloved guiding hand in our family 
made itself felt more seriously as time rolled on. 

It soon became evident that my good mother 
needed some one with experience to assume the 
management of our affairs, so as to conserve the 
estate. The guardian, a certain Mr. Uffen- 
heimer, appointed by the authorities to look 
after the interests of the minor children, and 
who did his duty conscientiously, soon came to 
a similar conclusion. It was through his instru- 
mentality, guided no doubt by the best inten- 
tions, that my mother was introduced to Mr. 
Louis Weil. The acquaintance soon ripened 
into mutual affection, and resulted in their 
marriage during the fall of 1857. 

My stepfather, a man of middle age, slightly 
built, of dark complexion and of a somewhat 
bilious temperament, had some good qualities, 
and, like all mortals, some serious defects. He 
was above the average in intelligence, had 
traveled extensively, could speak the French 
language like a native, was an ardent lover of 
music and a violinist of no mean ability. 



The simple life in a little village like Schmie- 
heim, at the foot of the Black Forest, several 
miles away from a railroad and without a single 
social attraction, did not and could not appeal 
to such a man. Devoid of experience in the 
management of an estate, unwilling to adjust 
himself to the surrounding conditions, it soon 
became apparent that as a conserver of our es- 
tate he was a total failure. 

He displayed little sympathy and still less 
patience in his intercourse with us children, 
which brought about early in my child-life a 
bitterness toward him which only years could 
soften and never completely erase. I was in 
my ninth year when he came into our life. I 
was a child, and by no means an angelic one, 
and I am willing to admit that I was not en- 
tirely blameless in the premises. 

I was headstrong, and that weakness has 
accompanied me through life. Stubbornness 
and tenacity are twins, and they are responsi- 
ble for much that is evidently bad and for more 
that may be found good and praiseworthy in 
my character. My mother shed many tears 
over the frequent quarrels between my step- 
father and myself. The consciousness of having 
caused her so much unhappiness has been the 
source of bitter heartburning to me. 

Though torn by the lack of harmony be- 
tween her second husband and her children, she 
proved a dutiful and devoted wife to him. Two 
children sprang from this union— Herman, who 



lived for many years in Paducah, Kentucky, 
and who died in his thirty- seventh year while 
abroad in search of health, in his former home, 
Freiburg in Germany; and Sara, who married 
Mr. Samuel K. Cohn, and who resides at Cairo, 
Illinois, a happy wife and the mother of an in- 
teresting family. 

I am proud to say that my mother, through 
her rare tact and good sense, raised these two 
children so that I always regarded and loved 
them as my real brother and sister. They in 
return showed a similar attachment and devo- 
tion to me. 

But I am digressing. The temptation to 
put the cart before the horse comes to me at 
times with almost irresistible force, and when 
for the moment I yield, it is because my mind 
is untrained in literary work. Beyond writing 
occasionally a short article for a newspaper on 
some practical topic in wbich I may momenta- 
rily feel an interest, my literary activity has 
only extended to business correspondence in its 
various branches. In this particular line I have 
the reputation of being a master, and this quali- 
ty no doubt came to me by inheritance from my 
mother, who, as I stated above, had an ability 
along such lines considerably above the average. 

To return to Schmieheim, in the year of our 
Lord 1859, candor forces me to repeat that my 
stepfather was unsuccessful as a conserver of 
the assets of the family. He sold our acres 


piecemeal, and all the while the old business 
was ceasing to be profitable. To his credit let 
it be recorded that he made an honest effort to 
improve our financial condition by embarking 
in new ventures, all of which proved failures. 

He engaged, for instance, in the manufac- 
ture of shoe-blacking. I well remember how, 
as little boys, my brother Bernard and I acted 
as assistants in his blacking factory, turning 
the crank that mixed the ingredients in a tub 
and afterward filling little boxes with the fin- 
ished product. The enterprise was unsuccess- 
ful, because the blacking was unfit for use and 
therefore found no sale. 

Later on, my stepfather took up the leather 
business and the handling of tools for shoe- 
makers. This branch for awhile promised good 
results; Mr. Weil, however, was too easy in 
the extension of credit to the little shoemakers 
in the neighborhood, and made bad debts, which 
finally resulted in the total loss of the capital 
invested. The resources of our family had be- 
come wellnigh exhausted by this time. There 
was nothing left save that part which was due 
hs as minor children, and which was held as 
a separate estate. 

All this happened in the years up to 1861, 
that memorable year in which the Jews in the 
Grand Duchy of Baden received their full civil 
liberties. Their emancipation was due largely 
to the act of the Grand Duke Frederick of 


Baden, as enlightened, liberal, unprejudiced, 
progressive, and humane a man as ever gov- 
erned a people. 

My co-religionists, for centuries half slave 
and half freeman, stepped quickly forth into 
the sunshine of freedom and wider activities. 
They were now allowed to vote and hold office 
in their respective communities. Cities and 
villages which had never extended the privilege 
of permanent residence to Jews opened wide 
their gates. Schmieheim, which was congested 
with Jews, felt itself relieved of its surplus 
population as if by magic. Many moved to the 
neighboring cities of Lahr, Offenburg, Haslach, 
and Karlsruhe. 

My parents sold the old homestead and used 
the proceeds for the purchase of a small apart- 
ment house in Freiburg, which, in the light of 
later experience, proved one of the wisest acts 
of my stepfather. It was in the fall of 1861 
that we went to live at Freiburg. The family 
at that time consisted of my parents, the 
author of this history, who was then about 
thirteen years of age, my brother Bernard, 
aged eleven, my sister Elise, aged five, my half- 
brother Herman and his sister Sara, who was 
then a baby. 

My stepfather engaged in different pursuits, 
with more or less success. After a struggle of 
two more years his health was undermined and 
he was forced to relinquish all business activity. 


He became a prisoner in his room for most of 
the time. My mother furnished a few rooms, 
which were rented to students and actors. The 
income from these provided our scanty means 
of support. To fill the cup of sorrow to the 
brim, my sister Elise, to whom my mother was 
deeply attached, died after an illness of less 
than two weeks, in the winter of 1862. 

My brother Bernard and I were thus the 
only children left of the first marriage. Bofli 
of us have every reason to be thankful, for we 
are still in the enjoyment of good health and 
we have been blessed with more than a fair 
share of everything that makes for happiness. 
The years that have intervened since that day 
have been strenuous ones for us both, and now 
as I retraverse the forty years in which we 
have worked together, I realize anew the value 
of our comradeship. 

The prototype of our father, big-framed 
and big-hearted, content always to follow where 
I led, only putting on the brakes and opening 
the safety valve when I put on too much steam, 
always the same indulgent brother, never the 
censor, ever the man of peace and of affection, 
Bernard has been indeed a power and a bless- 

However, I shall proceed to the period of 
my boyhood days. 



My Boyhood Days. 

The history of any boy raised by parents of 
scanty means reads about the same the world 
over. He is sent to school at an early age, and 
is taken out of school to earn a livelihood as 
soon thereafter as possible. I was sent to the 
village school when I was five years of age. 
The three "Rs" were taught by a rather strict 
teacher, who was a firm believer in the ride of 
"spare the rod and spoil the child." I can not 
claim ever to have been bright at school. Every- 
thing that I learned came to me by hard work, 
but I had a great advantage in that when once 
a thing had entered my hard head it remained 
there for good. 

When I was ten years old I entered a graded 
school at Ettenheim, a village about four miles 
from my home. This daily walk of eight miles, 
minus overcoat or underclothing, in severe 
winter weather was often a hardship, but I 
stood it for three years, and I attribute my 
hardy constitution largely to this hard physi- 
cal experience. 

In the fall of 1861 my parents decided that 
their means were too scanty to permit of any 
further extension of my education. I was 
therefore apprenticed to a commercial house, 
where I served for three years, in order to lay 
the foundation for a commercial career. I 


worked hard and received no compensation. 
These were indeed years of privation. 

My business master was Johann Baptist 
Fischer of Freiburg. He was exceedingly 
strict in discipline and intensely conscientious 
as an instructor. The first year I served in the , 
capacity of porter. I opened and swept the 
store, dusted the stock, and delivered bundles. 
The second year I received practical instruc- 
tions in the selling of goods, and the third 
year I was initiated into the science of book- 
keeping, correspondence, and the handling of 

The duties of an apprentice, under such a 
strict master as it was my good fortune to have, 
were rather exacting. Still, in my third year 
I managed to earn enough money by outside 
office work at nights and on Sundays to pay for 
ray clotliing and other incidentals. 

My term of apprenticeship ended on the 
29th of November, 1864. I was sixteen years 
old. My good mother (blessed be her memory !) 
had made many sacrifices, depriving herself 
oftentimes of the very necessaries of life and 
cheerfully surrendering many comforts in 
order to prepare me to meet the responsibili- 
ties and requirements of earning my own 

The boy of sixteen had gained experiences 
and received impressions which seldom are 
crowded into the life of one so young. Candor 



forces me to say that, unlike the experiences 
of the average boy, mine were not of a charac- 
ter calculated to make me look back gratefully 
upon that period of my life or wish to live it 
over again. They taught me, however, to love 
work, to practice economy, and to be self- 

To these three qualities, coupled with my 
inherent abhorrence of things that are vicious 
and bad, I trace that limited measure of success 
that came to me in after years. These qualities 
will make the successful man in any walk of 
life and in almost any part of the world, and 
I would strongly impress it on my children, 
and on those who come after them, to acquire 
and practice them. Industry, economy, self- 
reliance, good morals — these are the founda- 
tion stones on which success is built. Without 
them sooner or later must inevitably come 
either disappointment, failure, or dishonor. 

Eobust health is not to be underestimated 
as one of the elements of success. It may fairly 
be assumed, however, that whoever leads a cor- 
rect and moral life, likewise obtains a strong 
physical endowment. However, I am digress- 
ing again, and this time on morals. I certainly 
was not cut out for a philosopher or a poet. 
To me a thing appeals most strongly when I 
can feel it or see it, and always has. I will 
therefore revert to my text, and tell about the 
period of my young manhood. 



My Fibst Employment. 

Through the influence of my stepfather and 
with the active co-operation of Mr. Fischer, who 
furnished me with an excellent recommenda- 
tion, I succeeded in securing employment as 
clerk witli a firm in Mannheim. My first salary 
amounted to twenty-five gulden per month, 
which when converted into American money 
was about eleven dollars. When it is consider- 
ed that out of this sum I had to pay board, 
lodging, and washing, and had to supply other 
little necessaries besides furnishing my clothes, 
it requires no mathematician to figure out that, 
even with the then proverbial cheapness of com- 
modities in Germany, it required genuine finan- 
cial skill to make both ends meet. The job itself 
was a hard and an exceedingly unpleasant one. 
I therefore resolved to make a change at the 
earliest possible moment, though I was deter- 
mined not to give up one situation until I had 
secured a more desirable one. The opportunity 
did not develop until the following August 
(1865), when I obtained a position with Geb- 
rueder Elkan at Frankfort-on-the-Main, whole- 
sale dealers in knit goods, and at that time one 
of the leading firms in their line in that city. 

My first appearance in the office of the firm 
left an indelible impression on my mind. My 
place was secured by correspondence, and my 


employers had never met me personally until 
I came to work. They expressed keen disap- 
pointment when they faced a rather under- 
sized boy of barely seventeen. Usually young 
men of twenty had occupied places of that na- 
ture. When I came to present myself, Mr. 
Bernard Elkan looked me over and decided 
promptly that I was too young and too small 
for the job. My eloquence, however, got the 
better of his judgment, and I was set to work. 
This unusual condition drew the attention of the 
members of the firm to me, and on more than 
one occasion I was shown favors which proved 
unmistakably that I had their good-will and 

My salary was little more than what I had 
received in Mannheim, but the business was 
a very extensive one. I quickly reasoned that 
the chances for advancement were decidedly 
better. Besides, Frankfort was then, and is 
to-day, the financial and commercial center of 
South Germany. 

It was there that for the first time in my 
young life I formed delightful acquaintances 
and congenial friends. Moving heretofore in 
the narrow limits of provincial towns, the life 
in the larger city, together with the activity 
in a commercial firm whose trade extended all 
over Germany and to foreign countries, had 
its broadening influence and produced in me a 
feeling of contentment and a conviction that 




here I found my true sphere of usefulness. I 
determined to round off my career in Frank- 

Everything seemed to favor me except my 
income. It continued to be barely sufficient to 
meet my ever-increasing needs. Winter was 
now coming on and I needed an overcoat, 
though up to this time I had never felt the need 
of one. In Freiburg and Mannheim only the 
rich could afford such luxuries, but in my new 
surroundings the possession of an overcoat be- 
came necessary if I was to maintain a proper 
social standing. I was too proud and too sensi- 
ble to appeal to my good mother for assistance. 
I knew she would deprive herself of necessaries 
rather than refuse me my request. I had my 
brother Bernard at home, who by this time 
earned some little money as clerk in a law office, 
but his meager wages were urgently needed to 
keep our mother and the family in comfort. 

In my extremity I decided to eat only two 
meals a day, and I went to work without any 
breakfast for weeks. It went hard, because my 
digestive powers were excellent. But I had to 
have that overcoat. I owned a little silver 
watch, a gift from my sainted grandfather. It 
went to the pawnbroker. Still, I was short of 
the necessary means for the garment. 

How I raised the remainder is best explain- 
ed perhaps in a letter handed me on one of my 
visits to Europe in 1896 by the cousin to whom 


it was addressed, and who came to my relief. 
It is written in German, which, translated into 
English, reads as follows: 

Fbankfoht, November 12, 1865. 
Dear Aunt and Cousins: 

I am in receipt of your letter of the 9th 
inst., and beg your pardon for my apparent 
neglect in acknowledging your remittance of 
twenty-five gulden. In doing this now, I 
beg to thank you for your kind and prompt 
assistance. I should be only too willing to 
pay you this loan back right now but for the. 
fact that my cash on hand is totally ex- 
hausted because of the purchase of an over- 
coat costing thirty-five gulden. I expect to 
receive the second quarter of my salary by 
the end of January, and will by that time 
without fail pay you, etc., etc. 

I was seventeen years of age when I became 

the owner of an overcoat, and another year 
passed before I enjoyed the luxury of a couple 
of suits of underwear. The fall and winter sea- 
son in our branch of trade was extraordinarily 
good. To keep up with orders a great deal of 
night work became necessary. Early and late 
I was on hand. When one or more of the clerks 
found it convenient to excuse himself from night 
work, I was always ready to do double duty. 
This pleased my employers so much that I 
received a substantial gift in money before 
Christmas and a respectable raise in salary by 



New Year (1866), even though, according ' to 
the custom in Germany, advances in salary 
were not granted until the expiration of the 
full year. My work was evidently appreciated, 
for I was entrusted with more important tasks 
and was making rapid headway. 

During the spring of 1866 war clouds began 
to appear on the horizon. Bismarck had been 
for years perfecting the Prussian army, and 
was making ready to force Austria into relin- 
quishing its further participation in the affairs 
of the rest of the German States. War was 
declared during the early summer of 1866. 
Frankfort was very close to the scene of hos- 
tilities, and soon felt its grim influence. Com- 
merce stopped, business houses cut down 
expenses and discharged employes by the 

My firm reduced its force to the minimum, 
fully three fourths of our clerks losing their 
positions. A few, including myself, retained 
their places. I looked upon this as a mark of 
particular confidence and good-will. I felt 
grateful to my firm, and was more than ever 
determined to show myself worthy of it. 

In midsummer, while the battles of Langen- 
salza and Aschaffenburg were being fought 
near Frankfort, and while Prussia was concen- 
trating her forces near the Bohemian frontier 
preparatory to striking the terrible blow at 
Sadowa which resulted in the dismember- 
ment of Austria as a German State, there 


appeared in Frankfort two Americans, who 
were forced to stop over because the railroad 
had for the time being discontinued its regular 
passenger service. 

One of these, Mr. M. Livingston, an uncle by 
marriage, had spent some few days in Freiburg 
visiting relatives. He had called on my mother, 
and through her learned that I was employed 
as a clerk in a prominent house in Frankfort. 
A stranger in a large city, anxious to meet 
some one who could help him to kill time pleas- 
antly during Ms enforced idleness, he bethought 
himself of the nephew, and promptly hunted 
me up. It was — I remember it distinctly — a sul- 
try afternoon when the American made his 
appearance at our place of business and asked 
for me. 

A glance convinced me that before me 
stood a typical American. His broad-brimmed 
hat, square-toed boots, open face denoting 
democratic frankness and a rugged character, 
his plain, matter-of-fact, good-natured way — 
all attracted me immensely. I spent part of 
that day and the whole of the next day in the 
company of Mr. Livingston and his companion, 
who proved to be Mr. Moses Kahn, of Paducah, 

Our conversation took a wide range. We 
discussed the war, argued about its causes and 
probable results, and made comparisons be- 
tween things European and things American. 
I had never before come in contact with real 



Americans, and had not had the opportunity 
to get information at first hand as to business 
conditions, business opportunities, the mode of 
life, customs and system of government in 
their great country. I had read some books on 
America and had always been a great admirer 
of the republican f omi of government, but after 
all it was merely printed matter and conse- 
quently failed to make an impression. Here 
before me now were concrete examples of what 
America had done. 

These two Americans, then both in the very 
prime of life, had left homes in Europe in their 
youth, poor in purse but rich in health and am- 
bition, and had now returned on a visit, enjoy- 
ing a degree of prosperity which only years of 
hard work extending over a lifetime and under 
the most favorable conditions could produce 
in Europe. It set me to thinking about my 
own future and what America could do for the 
young man with health, ambition, and a will- 
ingness to learn. 

I had before me a life just beginning to be- 
come attractive from many points of view. I 
had behind me years of hardship and privation. 
My salary in another year would have afforded 
me not only a more comfortable existence, but 
also the enjoyment of modest pleasures. True, 
I was only a young clerk, but I was connected 
with a large firm, whose confidence I felt I had 
gained, and which promised a career for me 
such as was not open to many. Besides, Ger- 



many was the home of my parents and the land 
of my birth. Yet with all these advantages I 
realized that it meant the spending of the best 
years of my life before I could hope to carve 
out for myself an independent position, which 
at its best would yield only modest results in 
comparison to those which are to be attained 
in America with less effort. 

My uncle was engaged at that time in the 
manufacture of cotton knitting vara in New 
York. When I inquired of him what my chances 
might be in case I emigrated to America, he 
not only promised to give me a position in his 
office in that event, but agreed to lend me the 
necessary funds with which to pay my trans- 
portation to New York. Before we parted, 
when he resumed his voyage to Bingen-on-the 
Rhine, where he wooed and won his second 
wife, I promised to leave for New York the 
following fall. 

My fellow clerks, to whom I made known 
my determination to emigrate to America, 
tried to laugh me out of it. My dear mother, 
whom I immediately informed of my inten- 
tion, would not listen to the idea and tried in 
every way to dissuade me from it, first by 
frightening me and later by appeals to my 
filial duties. My determination remained un- 
shaken. My two uncles, Mr. Samuel Drey fuss 
and Mr. Samson Dreyfuss, in Freiburg, were 
called in by my mother in her anxiety to induce 
me to change my mind, but to no avail. 


Already as a child it was counted as one of 
my faults that I was headstrong. Later in 
life this quality developed into determination, 
and the trait has stuck to me up to this writ- 
ing. When once I had "convinced myself of the 
correctness of a course, nothing but absolute 
failure would keep me from maintaining it. 

The day for my departure had practically 
been set for the middle of October, 1866. I 
informed my firm in proper time of my plans. 
The senior of the firm, Mr. Bernard Elkan, 
who always had his watchful eye on me, re- 
ceived the information with great surprise, and 
in his fatherly way painted the dangers of the 
step. He dwelt on the promising future of my 
career in Germany, but my mind was made up 
and no arguments could induce me to alter my 

In the meanwhile the Prussian-Austrian 
War, which had lasted about ninetj r days, came 
to a close, and business quickly assumed anjin- 
wonted activity in Frankfort. My employers 
asked me to remain with them a few weeks 
longer, which I readily consented to do. I was 
grateful for their interest, and despite the hard 
work had enjoyed my contact with them. 

I left Frankfort on the 8th day of Septem- 
ber, 1866, and without solicitation received from 
my employers a few lines which I have always 
prized very highly. Translated into English, 
they read as follows: 



We hereby testify with pleasure that 
Mr. I. W. Bcrnheim served from August 
26th of last year until to-day as clerk in our 
firm. During that time he proved not only 
a model of correctness, but by reason of his 
industry he deserves our special commenda- 
tion. We can therefore cheerfully recom- 
mend Mr. Bernheim and tender him in his 
future endeavors our best wishes for his wel- 
fare and happiness. 

Frankfort A. M., September 8, 1866. 

Signed Gebrtjeder Elkan. 

I returned to Freiburg on September 11, 
1866, after an absence of nearly two years. 
My good mother, my brothers and my sister 
greeted me at the station, and it was a most 
happy reunion. My contact with the world 
had produced changes which my mother quick- 
ly noticed, and which gave her much pleasure. 
I had become polished, had better command 
of language, and because of the more fashion- 
able cut of my clothes my physical appearance 
was greatly improved. 

It was late before we retired that evening, 
and before I bade my mother "good-night" she 
had my promise to remain at home until the 
following spring. Always resourceful, she had 
already secured a clerkship for me with my 
uncles, Gebrueder Dreyfuss, for whom I work- 
ed from that time until I left for New York. 
The winter of 1866-1867 was a happy one. I 




had employment at remunerative wages, met 
many pleasant people in a social way, fre- 
quented the theater, took dancing lessons, and 
studied hard under an Englishman to become 
more proficient in the use of the English lan- 
guage. • 

I Land in New York. 

The seventeenth day of March, 1867, was 
an eventful one in my own history and«»in that 
of our little family. It dawned cold and dreary, 
and snow covered the ground. A carriage 
drove up to our humble home and took me to 
the depot. It was the first step in my long 
journey to the new country — America — haven 
of the hopes of millions of ambitious young 

For days before my departure my mother 
had been inconsolable. The occasion of my 
leave-taking was therefore a particularly sad 
one. Her grief was intense, and for the first 
time I almost regretted that I had determined 
to leave my native land. I soon recovered 
my composure, however. My brother Bernard 
accompanied me to the station, where we bade 
each other an affectionate "good-bye," little 
dreaming that in the course of a very few 
years he would follow to that Great Land of 
Promise which was destined to become the per- 
manent home of all of us. 


I traveled by rail to Mannheim; thence by 
boat down the beautiful Rhine to Cologne, 
whence, in company with many other emi- 
grants, I proceeded to Bremen. On the 23d of 
March, 1867, we embarked at Bremerhafen on 
the steamer "Hansa" for New York. 

The crowd on the steamer, recruited from 
all parts of Europe, was an interesting one. 
I soon found myself at home on the lower deck, 
and before long made some interesting ac- 
quaintances among my fellow passengers, and 
passed my time pleasantly. Some phases of 
life in the steerage did not appeal to me at all. 
Old and young, married and single, male and 
female, were all huddled together like so many 
cattle in illy ventilated, dark and filthy com- 
partments, extending without a single partition 
the entire length of the ship. There was neither 
privacy nor comfort. 

The food on the ship, which was abominable, 
was not set before the steerage passengers in 
a dining room. Space was too valuable for such 
conveniences. Each passenger was required to 
march to the kitchen with the necessary uten- 
sils, furnished by himself, to obtain his rations. 
If he wanted coffee he had to have a coffee pot, 
while for soup and meat he must have a tin 
bucket. The meat was unfit for a human stom- 
ach, and the coffee was made from chunks of 
German chicory. I managed to satisfy my hun- 
ger with large quantities of boiled Irish pota- 
toes, which were quite palatable. As I had no 


special receptacle for these, 'I passed in my hat, 
which was filled brimful with the steaming 
tubers. The sea air increased my appetite 
wonderfully and I experienced little difficulty 
in eating daily a hatful of dry Irish potatoes, 
and thrived on the diet. 

We came in sight of land on the 7th day of 
April, 1867. On the morning of the next day 
we were transferred to a small tug and landed 
at Castle Garden at noon. There we w«tre met 
by United States officials, and each was requir- 
ed to state his name, date of birth, nativity, and 
give some other information. The commis- 
sioners were very particular in ascertaining 
the exact amount in cash each one of the passen- 
gers had in his possession. I answered all ques- 
tions truthfully and correctly, and I am not 
ashamed to acknowledge to my posterity, as I 
did to the commissioner at that time, that be- 
sides some small German silver coins I was the 
possessor of twenty francs in gold, which is 
equal to about four dollars in American money. 
That was my state on arriving in America. 

When the examination had been completed 
it was nearly five o'clock in the afternoon. 
Many of my fellow travelers preferred to re- 
main overnight within the hospitable walls of 
Castle Garden (long ago put to other uses), 
taking their repose on the soft side of a wooden 
bench, which was furnished free of charge, 
rather than assume the risk of getting lost or 
robbed in a strange city. 


My anxiety to find my relatives, and at the 
same time get away from the squalor in the 
Garden, induced me to set out at once. The 
factory owned by my uncles was situated on 
Spring Street, near Broadway. I struck out 
boldly, and after some inquiries here and there 
finally arrived in front of their place of busi- 
ness after dark. To my bitter disappointment 
I found the establishment dark and closed. I 
nearly fainted, for I was tired and hungry. A 
stranger in a strange land, I bethought myself 
of Castle Garden, the Asylum of the Emigrant. 
It was my only refuge, so I retraced my steps 
down Broadway and through the kindness of 
the gatekeeper — though it was against the rules 
— was again admitted. I spent the night, in 
company with many of my fellow passengers, 
on a wooden bench. 

On the morning of the 9th of April, 1867, I 
once more emerged from Castle Garden. It was 
one of those sunny, bright, and pleasant morn- 
ings for which New York is famous. After 
securing breakfast and an American hair-cut 
and shampoo so as to look presentable, I turn- 
ed my face up Broadway. The scene seemed 
completely changed. The evening before I had 
had no eyes for my surroundings, but was bent 
' on reaching Spring Street to escape from my 
ill-smelling and uninviting surroundings. 

But that fair morning I saw- New York in 
all its splendor and glory. The bustle and 
activity on Broadway thrilled me, and the many 
signs bearing German-Jewish names all along 


the street instilled me with courage. I began 
to reason that if these firms, which were un- 
doubtedly composed of men who like myself 
had once entered New York poor, had suc- 
ceeded, why were not the same opportimities 
open to me? Early impressions are the lasting 
ones, and that beautifid, sun-lit April morning 
will be in my memory as long as life lasts. 

I had no difficulty in linding the factory on 
Spring Street, but on my arrival another and 
a more serious disappointment awaited me. My 
uncle met me cordially enough, but I soon learn- 
ed that his affairs were not as prosperous as 
he had left them the preceding summer when 
he started on his European journey. Eaw 
cotton had declined rapidly, and in the spring 
of that year was sold in New York at eight 
cents a pound. In the preceding fall it had 
found a ready market at from twenty-four to 
twenty-eight cents in currency per pound. 
Those engaged in the cotton and kindred trades 
suffered greatly. The firm of M. Livingston 
& Co. had unfortunately anticipated their wants 
in raw cotton, and their losses brought them to 
the verge of bankruptcy. The factory had been 
idle for some weeks before my arrival. The 
depression in the cotton trade had its reflex in 
all other lines of business throughout the coun- 

My uncle, generous even under the most ad- 
verse circumstances, offered me his home as a 
temporary shelter, and made it pleasant for me. 
But he was unable to give or secure for me any 



employment. The country was emerging from 
a four years' civil war, and was in a state of 
transition. The war had produced an inflation 
of all prices; speculation was rampant, and 
finance generally was in a chaotic state because 
of the fluctuation in the currency. All these 
conditions produced a stagnation in the labor 
market, and the poor emigrants suffered. 

My few francs were spent for car-fare in a 
daily search for labor. The outlook was be- 
coming hopeless when one day my uncle 
received quite unexpectedly a visit from Mr. 
John Weil, an old schoolmate, who had a flour- 
ishing store in Wilkesbarre, Penna. Mr. Weil 
was of a practical turn of mind, and after he 
had heard my story proposed that I should 
peddle goods in his section. He declared that 
when once I had familiarized myself with the 
language and customs of the country I would 
have no difficulty in securing pleasanter and 
more remunerative employment. I saw the 
point, and promptly acted on the suggestion. 

On the following day my good uncle bought 
a box about two feet wide and three feet long, 
and had it filled with what were called ' ' Yankee 
notions," consisting of needles, pins, spool 
thread, socks, suspenders, handkerchiefs, and 
ladies' stockings. He bought the goods for me 
on credit, guaranteeing the bill himself. On 
the 3d of May, 1867, I left New York in com- 
pany with my new-found friend for Wilkes- 
barre to start my career as a peddler. 


My Start in Business. 

Mr. Weil was correct in his prediction. 
The new avocation afforded me many oppor- 
tunities to familiarize myself with the lan- 
guage and customs of the people and with the 
country itself as perhaps no other pursuit 
could. It developed me physically, and what 
was worth still more to me, it gave me a spirit 
of independence and self-reliance which stood 
me in good stead ever afterward. 

If I were poetically inclined — and I now wish 
I possessed more of that delightful gift — how 
it would enable me to graphically and interest- 
ingly dwell on those days of wandering! I 
trudged along the peaceful Pennsylvania high- 
ways dreaming of future triumphs. Life glit- 
tered with golden promise of coming rise as 
a country storekeeper or of manorial affluence 
on a prosperous farm. 

I liked the life in the open, and became so 
much attached to my travels that when Mr. Weil 
offered me a clerkship in his store during the 
summer I declined, preferring to be independ- 
ent and to work out my own salvation in my 
own way. My affairs prospered from the very 
start, and my sales increased as I became ac- 
quainted. I worked conscientiously during the 
whole of that summer. Having accumulated 
some money, I decided to enlarge my business 
by carrying a more varied stock. 


In October, 1867, I purchased a horse and 
wagon and went to New York to lay in a sup- 
ply of such goods as I had heretofore handled. 
In addition I bought some clothing and other" 
men's wear. My uncle, Mr. Weille, had in the 
meanwhile moved to New York from Paducah, 
Kentucky, and the two were kind enough to 
again secure a small line of credit for me. 

I started out with high hopes, but soon dis- 
covered that I had made a serious blunder. 
To carry one's stock of goods boldly into a 
house and submit it for inspection to the pro- 
spective customer is a far easier proposition 
than to go empty-handed into the house, enum- 
erate the articles which you have for sale, and 
try to receive permission to show your goods. 
In the former case a small sale could almost 
invariably be made, while in the latter pro- 
cedure much valuable time was often lost in the 
attempt to get the customer into the mood to 
look at your wares. 

Although the volume of my business in- 
creased, my expenses — especially the cost of 
keeping a horse — more than outbalanced my 
expanded earnings. My bills in New York be- 
gan to mature, and though I financed as best 
I could, I soon convinced myself that my 
anxiety to increase my profits had gotten me 
into waters too deep for peace of mind. The 
month of November brought some relief. The 
Christmas trade was good, and once more I 
began to see prosperous times ahead of me. 
But my hopes were soon dashed to the ground. 



The first snow of the season caught me with 
my outfit in the mountains of Bradford County. 
I had failed to make any provision for a win- 
ter's campaign, and was seriously handicapped. 
To carry on my business in that region re- 
quired strong, sound horses and a good sleigh. 
My horse was poor and old and my wagon was 
light. To purchase a new outfit meant the in- 
vestment of considerable capital, which I could 
not command. 

I decided, therefore, to go into winter quar- 
ters, select some good neighborhood, and with 
the stock on hand open a store on a modest 
scale. I located in Overton, a little cross-road 
town in a then thinly populated section of 
Pennsylvania. I left my horse, which had be- 
come lame from heavy work, with a farmer by 
the name of Stroh, whom I knew to be a trust- 
worthy man and in whose family I had often 
found a pleasant home. I remember well my 
friend's name, because unconsciously he is re- 
sponsible for the complete change in my plans 
for the future, which resulted in the molding 
of my young life along different lines. 

My business experience in Overton was not 
a satisfactory one from a money point of view, 
but socially it was a decided success. The 
young merchant with the store clothes and a 
prepossessing appearance had no difficulty in 
entering the select circles of Overton's best 
set. Parties where the young of both sexes 
met were of almost nightly occurrence, and I 
had a royal good time with these simple, rug- 


ged mountain folk. Some evenings were 
devoted entirely to dancing. Quadrilles or 
square dances, in which the figures were called 
out by the fiddler — we never had more than 
one musician — were danced exclusively. When 
one quadrille was finished you promptly took 
a partner for the next one. I introduced the 
German waltz, teaching some of my girl friends 
to dance it, and thereby strengthened my social 

By way of a change, we had quilting par- 
ties, where the young ladies sewed bed quilts 
until the young men appeared, and then we 
spent the rest of the evening singing and 
playing games. There were also husking par- 
ties, where the young people shelled corn. 
When a quantity had been shelled, the corn 
was set aside and the evening spent in social 
intercourse. On Sundays I went to church and 
to Sunday-school. I showed no preference for 
any particular sect, but was welcome in all the 
churches. My Sunday dinner was hardly ever 
taken in my regular boarding-house. Thus the 
winter passed congenially. By and by the snow 
disappeared, the air became balmier, Nature 
began to give signs of reawakening — spring 
was at hand. 

My stock of goods was undiminished, and so 
were my debts in New York. I began to make 
plans for the coming year, and determined to 
take up my occupation of peddler with renewed 
vigor. I was in robust health, had read many 

jcoa, -Ja'l. 

I uwn£ 

^u^ll &- sLr- . Ms tno £L>ru& , tc/f 


T^Ayu AjtWasvi^ J-ir\_ ,4-'/ /{rvil 





books, had mastered the English language, and 
was therefore better equipped than ever before 
to be successful. I wrote to friend Stroh to 
send my horse and wagon to Overton. 

While my letter was on its way I received 
a few lines from my uncles in New York, stating 
that their enterprise had ended in failure and 
that they had determined to wind it up and to 
return to their old home in Paducah, Kentucky, 
to open a retail store there. They offered me 
a position as clerk. The proposition did not 
appeal to me, and I was on the point of declin- 
ing it when an answer from my friend Stroh 
arrived advising me of the death of my horse. 

The death of that old broken-down nag 
quickly changed my plans. I accepted my 
uncles' offer. Pennsylvania thereby lost a 
peddler; Kentucky gained a young clerk. I 
disposed of my goods at private sale and at 
auction, wound up my affairs as speedily as 
possible, and on the fifth day of May, 1868, I 
was on the way to Paducah, richer in experi- 
ence but poorer in purse than when I had 
landed in April of the previous year. 

I Begin Life in Kentucky. 

In 1868 Paducah had no Eastern outlet by 
rail. I traveled in a roundabout way via Pitts- 
burg and Indianapolis to Cairo and thence by 
boat to Paducah, where I arrived early on the 


7th day of May, 1868. It was a delightful, 
balmy morning, the kind that makes Kentucky 
peculiarly attractive at that time of the year. 
Before the stores opened I had occasion to take 
a walk around town, and I was favorably im- 
pressed with what I saw of the place. It was 
regularly laid out, had broad, well-kept gravel 
streets, and the stores as well as the residences 
gave the place a prosperous and friendly ap- 
pearance. It was far ahead of Overton. 

My good impression was increased as I came 
to know the open-hearted, warm and cordial 
character of the people. Kentuckians have 
their faults, but I felt then, as I do to this day, 
that the proverbial "Kentucky hospitality" is 
more than a meaningless phrase. The Ken- 
tucky greeting is spontaneous, and because of 
this spontaneity it is sincere and leaves a de- 
lightful impression on the stranger. 

I met my uncle, Mr. Benjamin Weille, with- 
out delay, and was greeted most cordially by 
him and his wife — my mother's younger sister, 
whom I had seen when a child and whom I 
dimly remembered as a good-looking girl in 

I quickly familiarized myself with my new 
duties. I swept the store and the pavement 
every day, kept the stock in good condition, and 
acted as bookkeeper and as second salesman. 
My senior was Joe Ullman, who in later years 
reached the goal of his ambition by becom- 
ing a member of the Paducah police force. Joe 


was a good salesman, and his services were par- 
ticularly valuable because he had served as a 
soldier in the Confederate army throughout 
the war. He knew most of the farmers for 
miles around Paducah by their given names. 
In the spring and summer, when leaf tobacco 
was brought in from the surrounding counties 
of Crittenden, Livingston, Hickman, Ballard, 
and Fulton, Joe sold them their dry goods and 
clothing, swapped yarns with them about their 
experiences in the army, and sent them home 

How I envied Joe, and wished I had been 
in the rebel army so that I too could shake 
hands with my old comrades, sell them goods 
and earn a good fat salary as he did! I tried 
hard to copy him, but never was a success as 
an imitator. As a result my usefulness as a 
salesman was greatly hampered. Although 
Joe was a kind-hearted fellow he was untutor- 
ed and ignorant, yet he was a good salesman. 
I was an educated merchant, and I was a fail- 
ure because I did not know the people and 
could not sell goods in the glib, free, and easy 
fashion required. My uncles, Mr. Livingston 
and Mr. Weille, were not much pleased with 
my services, and I realized that they had good 
cause for it. 

In the August of that first year in Ken- 
tucky, one evening while I was busy with my 
books, Mr. Moses Bloom came in for a friendly 
visit. Paducah in those days was a good-sized 


village of from four to five thousand inhabi- 
tants. There was neither club nor theater. 
The town had a great many saloons, but it 
possessed only one beer hall where men could 
sit down and enjoy a drink in European 
fashion. The absence of suitable places where 
business men could meet socially to discuss the 
questions of the day was responsible for the 
prevailing custom of visiting each others ' stores 
when the day's work had been ended. 

Mr. Bloom was associated with Mr. Loeb 
in the wholesale liquor business, under the firm 
name of Loeb & Bloom. Both men were bache- 
lors. Their store as a rule was closed quite 
early in the evening. With plenty of time at 
their command and no families to look after, 
they were frequent visitors at the different 
stores in the evenings. Their favorite resort 
was the store where I worked. I soon formed 
their acquaintance. 

Mr. Bloom impressed me very favorably. 
He was then about forty years of age, of 
medium height, with very pleasing appearance 
and kindly ways. His polished manners show- 
ed that he had come in contact with good peo- 
ple. He had evidently received a fair German 
education, could read and write English fairly 
well, and was highly respected by everybody in 
the community. 

Mr. Beuben Loeb was an entirely different 
personality. He was two or three years 
younger than Mr. Bloom, was tall and angular, 



sallow of complexion, and rather reserved in 
his ways. His education had been sadly neg- 
lected in his youth, for he wrote German badly 
and had not learned enough of the English 
language to read or even to write or speak it 
with any fluency. He was selfish and had 
enough cunning to make him a fair trader. 
Socially he was an undesirable companion, and 
I could never quite conceal my dislike for him. 

On that particular August evening which 
proved so fateful to me, Mr. Bloom stood near 
the counter and watched me work on my books. 
He was evidently very much pleased, for he 
remarked in a careless, half-earnest, half-jok- 
ing way : 

"This boy would make a fine bookkeeper." 

"Well," said my Uncle Livingston, who 
stood near by, "you can have him if you like 

A few days after this conversation Loeb & 
Bloom '8 so-called bookkeeper, a certain Mr. 
Cobb, who did not have enough clerical knowl- 
edge to tell a credit from a debit entry, was 
discharged, and I was engaged to take his place 
at a salary of $40.00 per month — in currency, 
which, according to its value then, was about 
equal to $26.00 or $28.00 in gold. 

My employers were not mistaken in their 
estimate of my ability. I mastered the details 
of the business in a comparatively short time. 
I found the books in a deplorable state, and the 
work in the office, as well as that in the store, 


lacked any semblance of order or system. By 
degrees I reorganized the firm's business to 
the eminent satisfaction of Mr. Bloom, who 
was ever ready to commend my work and often 
expressed his pleasure and satisfaction. 

My salary was raised from period to period, 
enabling me to replenish my wardrobe, which 
had become very shabby during my career as 
a peddler. It also permitted me to assist my 
good mother financially. By frugal living I 
was able further to save enough to pay my 
good uncles back the money which they had 
advanced for goods for my ill-starred Pennsyl- 
vania enterprise. It required more than two 
years of close economy to get out of debt, but 
I finally accomplished it. It is a source of 
pride to record the fact that I have never done 
any one out of a cent nor failed to meet any 
obligation at maturity. 

As the years passed, my position in Padu- 
cah became an exceedingly pleasant one. I 
enjoyed the confidence of my employers, was 
in close touch with delightful friends and rela- 
tives, and I felt justified in looking to the future 
for still better things. I was inspired to 
greater effort by a statement of Mr. Bloom's 
that if I continued to give satisfaction he would 
in course of time give me an interest in the 
firm. This promise was made when I was 
barely twenty-one. 

Late in 1869 the only drummer that our 
firm employed made one of his regular trips 




in West Tennessee, collected a considerable 
amount of money, and decamped for parts 
unknown, leaving a wife behind in Paducah. I 
promptly proposed to the firm that I take his 
place, and it was agreed that as soon as another 
bookkeeper could be found I was to become 
their representative on the road. 

My brother Bernard was at that time a 
clerk in a lawyer's office in Freiburg. He had 
a very desirable place, yielding fair wages, and 
was well regarded by his employers. But his 
chances for advancement were exceedingly un- 
promising. To become a practitioner at the 
bar in Germany required a college education, 
which my brother unfortunately did not pos- 
sess. He might after years of steady work 
have succeeded in obtaining a position as super- 
intendent of the estate of some noble family, 
or if particularly lucky might have secured 
some minor position in the service of the State, 
but at best it meant a precarious livelihood. 
My mother had long since become convinced 
of the wisdom of my having come to America. 

My brother had been kept advised of the 
improvement in my material condition, and 
though never expressing in his letters a desire 
to look for better things in the New World, he 
became more favorably disposed toward 
America through the medium of our correspond- 
ence. When I informed him of the opportuni- 
ty to become my successor as bookkeeper he 
promptly and unhesitatingly declared his will- 



ingness to accept the position. I showed his 
letter to my firm, and both members consented 
to give him the place if I would remain in the 
office long enough to "break him in." I readily 
agreed to do this. 

Bernard reached Paducah during January, 
1870. Two or three months were sufficient to 
fit him for the place, after which I went on the 
road. My mother's two older children were 
now in the United States, while she, with the 
two younger ones, remained in Germany. We 
wrote glowing letters to her, depicting America 
as seen by our young eyes. We were enthusi- 
astic in our descriptions of its free institutions, 
and were ever expressing our confidence in our 
ability to carve out satisfactory careers for our- 

The Franco-German War came on in the 
summer of 1870. Both of us would have been 
in the army had we not in good time found 
homes in America. My mother then for the 
first time frankly acknowledged in her letters 
that she thanked God that we had emigrated, 
little thinking that in the space of a few short 
years she, too, would cross the ocean to join 
us on this side. 

While Bernard developed into a finished 
bookkeeper, I, by hard work, built up a fairly 
satisfactory traveling business for the firm. 
Our salaries were raised from time to time, until 
in 1871 I earned $900.00 per year and my 
brother somewhat less. Our incomes permitted 
us to lighten the burden of the family in the 


old home and to lay something by for ourselves. 
In the meantime I continually kept in mind 
the promise of Mr. Bloom to give me an interest 
in the firm. It was early in the fall of 1871 that 
my brother and I decided to open negotiations 
with that end in view. Being the older and 
more experienced, I became the spokesman of 
the two prospective junior partners. I laid the 
matter before Mr. Bloom, but, aside from his 
promise to talk it over with Mr. Loeb, received 
but little encouragement. 

I was not present at any of the conferences 
held by the two partners, but I have always 
suspected Mr. Loeb of being the one who put 
his veto on the proposition. Promised advances 
in salary were declined. My brother was asked 
to remain with the firm in the event I decided 
to sever my connection, but to his credit be it 
herewith recorded, it did not take him a second 
to turn down the overture. We would stay 
together or leave together. 

The matter hung fire until Christmas of that 
year, when, after a final interview with Loeb & 
Bloom, in which the former became somewhat 
excited and abusive, we gave them notice that 
we would vacate our positions on the first of 
January, 1872. 

Mr. Loeb was considered by those who knew 
him best as possessed of those peculiar in- 
stincts necessary for the successful detective. 
He was secretive, suspicious, and as cunning as 
he was ignorant. When we first broached the 
subject of obtaining an interest in the firm, he 



quickly concluded that some one else was try- 
ing to secure our services. He knew that the 
savings of Bernard and myself amounted to 
less than twelve hundred dollars, and that this 
sum was not sufficient to start a wholesale firm 
with, even on the most modest scale possible. 

He did not find out until too late that we had 
made a friend in Mr. Elbridge Palmer, who had 
some spare cash and enough confidence in us 
to invest a couple of thousand dollars in our 
enterprise and to become our silent partner, 
should we decide to start business on our own 
account. To Mr. Palmer belongs the credit, and 
to him is due my profound gratitude as long as 
life lasts, for having made it possible for me to 
start out early in life in an independent 
way and to thus lay the foundation for what- 
ever success I may have achieved in business. 

Mr. Palmer and I had known each other for 
some years. When we first met he was a part- 
ner in the wholesale grocery firm of Palmer & 
Barber and I was the bookkeeper for Loeb & 
Bloom. Our firm occasionally bought groceries 
from them to fill orders, and they in turn pur- 
chased whisky from us to fill theirs. I made 
the monthly settlements between the two firms 
for my employers and Mr. Palmer for his firm. 
We were first thrown together in this way, and 
the acquaintance ripened by degrees into some- 
thing akin to real friendship, if friendship it can 
be called, for Mr. Palmer was a most peculiar 
man. He spoke little, had but few associates, 
and was regarded by those who met him casu- 



ally as a close-fisted man. He was careless in 
his dress, abstemious in his habits, and reserved 
in demeanor almost to the point of being a 
recluse. However, he was a close observer, 
and often remarked in after years that he had 
had Ms eye on me from the time I arrived in 

"When negotiations for our admission to the 
firm of Loeb & Bloom had finally been broken 
off, I mentioned it to Mr. Palmer. At the same 
time I submitted our plans for the future. He 
listened to my statements, asked a few ques- 
tions, and before we parted that night he had 
expressed his willingness to invest two thou- 
sand dollars in a wholesale liquor business, 
which, with our savings of nearly twelve hun- 
dred dollars, would give us a capital of about 
three thousand. We were to do business as 
Bernheim Brothers, Mr. Palmer remaining a 
silent partner, and receiving one third of the 
net profits of his investment. 

The new firm started January 1, 1872, on 
an exceedingly modest scale, in the back part of 
a store on Market Street. Mr. Palmer, who 
had previously dissolved partnership with Mr. 
Barber, occupied the front part of the building 
as a wholesale grocery store. Bernard and I 
paid no rent and roomed over the store with 
Mr. Palmer, who at that time had no family, 
having been left a widower some years before. 
The firm thus unpretentiously begun has had 
an uninterrupted and honorable life to this day. 


My Friend Elbridge Palmer. 

Before proceeding to record the succeeding 
episodes in my life, I shall devote, in grateful 
remembrance, this space to my good friend, 
Elbridge Palmer, whose loyalty and confidence 
we retained up to the day of his death, which 
occurred July 3, 1896. His was, as I have 
said before, a peculiar nature. In fact, he 
often reminded me of a plant with an unattrac- 
tive exterior which yet hid and nourished a 
sweet fruit within. His almost studious re- 
serve concealed a tender and sympathetic heart. 

When Mr. Palmer discontinued the grocery 
business he became cashier and later president 
of the City National Bank. If the impecunious 
borrowers had been as close to Mr. Palmer and 
had known his generosity as well as I did, they 
would have broken the bank many a time. But 
that grave, silent man stood at his post, often 
hiding his real feelings and managing the 
affairs of the bank successfully. He made few 
friends, and kept strangers at a safe distance. 

Our partnership continued for three years, 
and when we felt strong enough to acquire his 
interest he retired willingly, allowing us to 
repay his part of the investment, together with 
his share of the profits, in such easy install- 
ments as not to interfere with the growth of the 
firm. Our close relationship continued un- 
changed, while his confidence in our success, as 



well as in our integrity, became a sort of fixed 
religious belief with him. He gave us many 
evidences of his kindness and faith in us. As 
a banker he allowed us to borrow up to the 
fullest limit from his bank, and as an individual 
he endorsed our paper for any needed amount. 
The confidence shown by this taciturn and 
apparently immovable man can best be illus- 
trated by the following incident: 

My brother Bernard decided during the 
summer of 1882 to visit his old home in Ger- 
many. When informed of this intention Mr. 
Palmer had a sudden and unaccountable attack 
of the "wanderlust" and decided to join my 
brother on a visit to the "old country," as he 
was in the habit of calling Europe. The prepa- 
rations were carefully arranged by Bernard. 
Mr. Palmer made no special effort to get ready. 
He simply packed an old oil-cloth valise, which 
had seen hard service during the Civil War, 
with a few belongings. All of these he religious- 
ly brought back, without the addition of a sin- 
gle item. 

It is remote from my intention to convey the 
idea that he was unduly close or unreasonably 
careless in his attire. On the contrary, I merely 
wish to make it clear that he was always the 
same kindly man, simple in his habits and in- 
different to the impression he created. At 
home or abroad, he lived his life on the theory 

"A man's a man for a' that." 


While Mr. Palmer gave no thought to the 
personal preparations for his European trip, 
he did not ignore the financial requirements of 
our firm during his absence. He had kept in 
close touch with our affairs. He knew that dur- 
ing the summer months our financial demands 
were sometimes very urgent. Our business in 
those days was almost exclusively in the South, 
and collections were poor until the winter sea- 
son, when the planters disposed of their cotton 
crops. On the day before his departure Mr. 
Palmer called at our office to make his good-bye 
call. While there he put his hand in his pocket, 
pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me, 
saying : 

"Ike, I am going away to-morrow with Ber- 
nard, to be absent three or four months. It 
occurred to me that you might require money 
which Charlie (Chas. E. Eichardson, who was 
the cashier of the City National Bank of Padu- 
cah) might not be able to furnish. I have 
executed this note ; fill it out with whatever 
amount you may need, and discount it in 
another bank in town." 

Although spoken over twenty-five years 
ago, these words will always be fixed in my 
memory. Since then I have had a varied ex- 
perience in trade and finance extending over 
many years, but in all that time I have never 
heard of a similar case of such absolute confi- 
dence in the integrity of a friend. In giving 
me that note, Mr. Palmer placed his entire 

)U(. riR^r HOME, BUILT IB8I 



fortune in my keeping. Had I been weak I 
might easily have brought about his financial 

Our business, however, prospered while 
the two tourists were in foreign lands, and I 
had no occasion to fill out or discount the note. 
I had the satisfaction of handing it back to 
our benefactor upon his return, remarking that 
his act of confidence had touched me deeply 
and had made an impression which I would 
gratefully treasure as long as life lasted. In 
grateful remembrance of his kindness I named 
my youngest son, born in 1882, Elbridge Pal- 
mer Bernheim. I can not refrain from express- 
ing here the fervent wish that he may ever 
remember the debt his father owes to the man 
for whom he is named, and that he will always 
strive to be worthy of the loyalty that made 
it possible. 


Our Business Caeeeb. 

I shall proceed to sketch briefly the history 
of the firm which found its inception in the 
back room of a store on Market Street in 
Paducah, Kentucky, on the first of January, 
1872. It might justly be claimed that the story 
is but a repetition of similar experiences of 
millions of enterprises which started in modest 
ways and by dint of persistent work and intelli- 
gently directed effort became big undertakings. 
However, this little history is written for home 


circulation, and for that reason alone I hope 
its recital may he found helpful and interest- 
ing to future generations of Bernheims as 
illustrating the fact that success comes as a 
reward only to those who in their youth lead 
moral and temperate lives. Such a course 
conserves vitality for the supreme struggle 
that is ever the forerunner of a real career. 

College education to my mind is a luxury 
and not a necessity. "When to health and a fair 
common-school education you add a good char- 
acter and a determination to stick to a course 
once mapped out, the result spells "success." 

I say it in all modesty and with no attempt- 
ed self-praise that my brother and I were 
fully equipped to be successful. Our firm had 
no sooner started when we both settled down 
to hard, systematic work. For the first three 
years I did all the traveling for the house. 
After that period (and we had in the mean- 
while passed successfully through the panic of 
1873) our little capital had grown sufficiently 
to permit of an extension of trade, and my 
brother started to travel. Up to 1888 we con- 
tinued as travelers for the firm, alternating 
on the work so that one of us was always at 
home. So faithfully was this order observed 
that whenever the turn of the one arrived to 
start out he went, regardless of whatever 
pleasures or family functions he must forego 
by reason of his absence from home. As an 
example, I might cite that my daughter Millie 



was born while I was on a business trip in 
November, 1884. The old motto, "business 
before pleasure," was never violated. 

In 1875, after we had bought out the interest 
of Mr. Palmer, we admitted Mr. Nathan M. Uri 
as a partner. The firm name was changed to 
Bernheim Bros. & Uri, and the business was 
conducted under that name until 1889, when 
Mr. Uri withdrew voluntarily. We then resum- 
ed the old firm name of Bernheim Bros. As 
our capital increased we expanded, taking in 
more territory and engaging additional travel- 
ing men all the time. At the start we confined 
our business to a radius of about two hundred 
miles from Paducah. In fifteen years our trade 
extended over the entire South and into parts 
of the West and Northwest. The firm became 
the wonder and pride of Paducah. 

It was soon evident that our business was 
outgrowing the town, which offered but meager 
facilities for the economical handling of men 
and merchandise in a big way, and that if its 
growth was to be maintained we must seek a 
larger field of activity. The prospect of leav- 
ing the place where I had made my start, where 
I had numerous friends and relatives, where I 
had found my good wife, where six of my chil- 
dren were born, and where my dear mother 
was comfortable and contented, was not pleas- 
ing. I had the proposition under advisement 
for over a year. I realized that a change meant 
greater business cares and also increased per- 


sonal expense, and I further fully understood 
that the success or failure of the move rested 
entirely on my shoulders. 

However, after we had taken an inventory in 
January, 1888, and discovered that our capital 
was growing by leaps and hounds, we decided 
definitely to seek a wider field of operation. 
Our choice fell on Louisville, which at that 
time was one of the great distributing centers 
of the country for fine whiskies. Accordingly 
our business and all of our belongings were 
transferred to the Kentucky metropolis on the 
first day of April, 1888. We secured a very 
commodious building on Main, between First 
and Second streets. The policy of increasing 
our trade with the increase of our capital was 
adhered to. We engaged more traveling men 
as we needed them, and soon our business 
extended from Maine to Texas and from New 
York to California. During 1895 we became 
the owners of the adjoining store. 

Before we had settled on a plan for its im- 
provement, however, an unfortunate accident 
occurred. Early in March, 1896, the bonded 
warehouses of the distilling plant at Pleasure 
Ridge Park, owned jointly by Block & Frank, 
Mr. Nathan F. Block, and ourselves, were de- 
stroyed by fire. The loss was covered by insur- 
ance, but the tax on the whisky, for which Mr. 
Nathan F. Block and I were sureties to the 
government, had to be paid. Our only hope of 
immunity lay with the Treasury Department, 


which had the power to abate it. The fire had 
started in the forenoon, on the roof of one of 
the warehouses and in plain view of the dis- 
tillery and internal revenue employes. Its 
origin therefore could be accounted for easily. 

The insurance companies settled the losses 
with reasonable promptness, but the govern- 
ment persistently declined to release us from 
our bond, which aggregated nearly a million of 
dollars. The Treasury officials even threatened 
to levy on the distillery and on my individual 
property. This jeopardized more than my en- 
tire fortune, and gave me many sleepless nights. 
We fought the case in Washington for nearly 
eighteen months, and finally succeeded in get- 
ting a cancellation of the bond from Lyman J. 
Gage, then Secretary of the Treasury, on the 
day before Thanksgiving, 1897. Hence we had 
immediate and definite cause to give thanks 
that year. During all the time that that calami- 
ty menaced we kept our courage and carried on 
our business with energy and confidence. 

A modern distillery became a necessity as 
our affairs developed. As soon as practicable 
after the fire we had plans drawn for a plant 
capable of supplying our wants, and which was 
to be owned entirely by us. On the day after 
the election of our martyred President, William 
McKinley, in November, 1896, we began digging 
the foundation for this plant, near the city limits 
on the Illinois Central Railroad. The work pro- 
ceeded energetically, days, nights, and Sundays, 


and early in April, 1897, we produced our first 
mash. Since then the capacity of the plant has 
been enlarged twice. It has run almost without 
interruption ever since its completion, and has 
proved a source of great profit to us. 

After our trouble with the government was 
happily ended, we commenced to reconstruct 
the store which we had acquired by purchase 
over two years before. This building, with an 
exterior of red sandstone, stands to-day, on the 
north side of Main Street, near Second, and is 
an ornament to that neighborhood. Soon after 
we were in the building we discovered, to our 
surprise, that it no longer met our requirements. 
Our trade was growing with rapid strides. In 
1888 the volume of our business amounted to 
about $350,000 per annum. By the time we had 
moved into our new quarters it had more than 
quadrupled. We failed in the attempt to se- 
cure more room by the purchase of the stores 
on either side of us. Neither did we succeed 
in the acquisition of a commodious warehouse 
on Washington Street, in the rear of our prem- 
ises, which had remained tenantless for some 
time. The owners discovered that we needed 
the room badly, and took advantage of our 
necessity to ask exorbitant prices. Our need 
for additional room became more pressing 
from month to month — in fact, it reduced itself 
to a question of less business or larger quarters. 

There was at that time but one vacant 
building on Main Street which promised to 


meet our requirements. It was situated near 
the Louisville Hotel, and was formerly owned 
by Bamberger, Bloom & Co. This great dry 
goods firm, for years a Southern business bul- 
wark, failed soon after the panic of 1893 and 
went out of existence. Their building was a 
massive brick and stone structure, six stories 
high with a basement. It had been built but 
four years before by the old firm, in a most 
substantial way, with a frontage of nearly fifty 
feet on Main Street, running to an ell which 
faced on Seventh Street. It is the largest sin- 
gle business house on Main Street, and by 
reason of its enormous size was an elephant 
on the hands of the Mutual Life Insurance 
Company of New York, who had advanced one 
hundred thousand dollars when the building 
was erected and who held the mortgage. 

On one Friday morning we offered seventy- 
five thousand dollars cash for the property and 
in the afternoon of the same day our offer was 
accepted. Mr. Julius Bamberger told me after 
the purchase that the building and ground had 
cost Bamberger, Bloom & Co. one hundred 
and eighty- five thousand dollars. We promptly 
proceeded to reconstruct the interior so as to 
make it answer our purpose. We sold our 
old store to W. L. Weller & Sons. 

At this writing we are still doing business 
at this same stand. It has proved an ideal 
home, and is conceded by people who have had 
occasion to visit similar places in other cities 


to be one of the handsomest stores in our line 
in the United States. We left our old place 
because we suffered from a decided lack of 
room; we moved into the new one with mis- 
givings that we had too much. I had predicted 
from year to year that our firm had attained 
its fullest growth, and saw no avenue by which 
it could possibly be enlarged. Yet I bave had 
the satisfaction of noting a comfortable increase 
in volume each year until November, 1907, 
when a panic struck this country like a whirl- 
wind. A natural shrinkage accompanied the 
widespread depression that followed, and we 
had our share of it. 

Close on the heels of panic came the Pro- 
hibition wave which inundated various States 
and which left a costly scar on our business. 
This anti-liquor craze is but another manifesta- 
tion of American hysteria, and must run its 
course. Signs are not lacking to indicate that 
it will subside in due time. 

Candor compels me to admit that the liquor 
traffic as carried on at present by the retail 
dealer is responsible for much of the existing 
prejudice. The low dive, catering to the wants 
of the vicious and depraved classes, should be 
suppressed. The American "treating babit," 
which is the source of so much intemperance, 
must be eradicated. The business of retailing 
liquor should be confined to localities affording 
efficient police protection. When these reforms 
shall have been put into effect, and tbe busi- 


ness shall have been placed in the hands of 
responsible, law-abiding, and temperate peo- 
ple, we may safely look forward to a period 
when the manufacture and sale of liquors will 
again become a legitimate and respected occu- 
pation. Temperance by legal enactment has 
made and always will make more liars than 

As a citizen and as a lover of his fellow man, 
I can not but express the hope that the man who 
uses intoxicants to excess will some day be 
treated as a social outcast. If he persists in 
their abuse he should be regarded in the eyes 
of the law as a criminal, and be segregated as 
the insane are. If I had to choose my occupa- 
tion over again I should prefer to engage in 
some other line of trade, but we are all creatures 
of circumstance and therefore less accountable 
for our acts than we realize. However, in a 
large sense, the liquor business is as honorable 
to my mind as any other. The man who sells 
whisky is no more responsible for its abuse 
than the hardware dealer who sells pistols 
and knives, the man who sells poisons, or the 
farmer who raises tobacco is responsible for 
the effects of these things when abused. 

God Almighty bestowed certain presents 
upon his children. If rightly and temperately 
used they can prove a source of benefit and 
pleasure; if abused they are a curse upon the 
head of the abuser. Therefore it is only the 
weak and ill-balanced persons who become the 



slaves of injurious habits, and for the protec- 
tion of such I favor a restriction of the liquor 
traffic, but not its complete destruction. 

I am glad to say that the Jewish race has 
never been deluded by the prohibition fallacy. 
Wine is an important factor in its ceremonials, 
and receives much mention in the Holy Book. 
It is one of the most striking characteristics of 
the Jew that he is temperate in his habits, and 
especially in the use of intoxicants. However, 
I have digressed again, and am in imminent 
danger of losing the thread of my story in the 
discussion of the temperance question. I will 
therefore return once more to my subject and 
record the closing chapters of my story. 

New Blood in the Business. 

While our business was growing, my brother 
and I were reaching the stage of life where we 
looked for a gradual reduction of our laborious 
duties. We began to cast about for younger 
shoulders on which to place some of our increas- 
ing responsibilities. We realized that the in- 
fusion of younger blood into a commercial 
enterprise is as much a necessity as is the fer- 
tilization of the soil. We were happy in the 
choice of our co-workers. 

First came Barney Dreyfuss, who was our 
first cousin. He emigrated to Paducah direct 
from his home in Freiburg in Baden during 



1883. He was then about nineteen years old. 
He had served his apprenticeship of three years 
in a German banking house, and proved to be 
an exceedingly apt, though at times a some- 
what careless young fellow. He entered our 
office as assistant bookkeeper, and on our re- 
moval to Louisville became successively head 
bookkeeper and credit man. He showed the 
keenest aptitude, and rapidly developed into an 
exceedingly valuable and trustworthy man. In 
recognition of his work we allowed him a work- 
ing interest in our firm in 1890, which he re- 
tained up to 1899, when, upon the urgent advice 
of physicians, he voluntarily relinquished his 
position and disposed of his interest in the firm 
to take up an occupation less confining. He 
became the principal owner and President of 
the Pittsburg Baseball Club. I am proud to 
say he made a decided success of his enter- 
prise. Mr. Dreyfuss resides in Pittsburg, 
Penna. ; is very happily married and the father 
of an interesting family. 

Others who joined forces with us were the 
Flarsheim brothers. They are natives of 
Newark, N. J., who had moved to St. Paul, 
Minn., and engaged in the wholesale liquor busi- 
ness there. Causes which it would take too long 
to recite here, but which could not be traced 
either to carelessness or want of attention to 
business, brought about their failure. Mr. 
Alfred B. Flarsheim, shortly after the collapse 
of his firm, applied to us for a position as 



representative in Minnesota. He proved to be 
a successful drummer and remained with us in 
that capacity until 1896, when we decided to 
open an office in New York. Being a native of 
the East and experienced on the road we 
thought him best equipped to become its man- 
ager. He remained in New York until Barney 
Dreyfuss was forced to relinquish his place in 
our office owing to ill health, when we called him 
to Louisville as his successor. He has been an 
excellent man for the place. 

His elder brother, Mr. Morris H. Plarsheim, 
entered our employ as correspondent in the 
spring of 1892. He quickly acquired the neces- 
sary routine and developed by degrees into a 
resourceful, reliable, and tireless worker. 
When I say this I do not mean to disparage the 
good qualities of other excellent men connected 
with us in different capacities. 

In recognition of the faithful services of 
these two brothers we voluntarily agreed to 
make them participants to a reasonable degree 
in the profits of the firm from 1898 on. They 
are still occupying the same responsible posi- 
tions : Mr. Alfred B. Flarsheim as head of the 
credit department, and Mr. Morris H. Flars- 
heim as head correspondent and chief of office. 
I can not close this chapter without expressing 
my deep gratitude for their devotion and voic- 
ing the hope that their usefulness may extend 
for many years undiminished. 



My Sons. 

I now approach a more personal phase of 
this narrative. Leon Solomon Bernheim, born 
October 10, 1875, being my oldest son, was, by 
reason of this fact, early selected as my succes- 
sor. I had never subscribed to the belief that 
a college education is necessary to a good busi- 
ness training, but have always maintained that 
a good constitution, love of work, the knowl- 
edge of the value of money, the gathering of 
practical experience in the handling of men 
and merchandise, are the prime requisites in the 
making of a good business man. Acting on this 
theory, I gave Lee the opportunity of securing 
a good common-school education, and when he 
had completed his fifteenth year employed him 
as office boy. He applied himself to his work 
and made satisfactory progress, but I noticed 
to my surprise, and to my chagrin as well, that 
he displayed an amount of independence in 
thought and action which at times produced 
unpleasant scenes between us. 

My ideas of training are along military lines. 
I am an advocate of regular and early business 
hours, and a firm believer in methodical and 
systematic ways of doing things. Frankness 
compels me to admit that in the enforcement of 
these business rules I am as autocratic as the 
Czar of Russia. In the language of my old 
friend, William Rosenberg, "when I had voted, 


the election was over. ' ' Lee was strong-headed ; 
he had gotten that honestly from his father. He 
was sensitive, which was a trait peculiar to his 
good mother. He had no regard for punctuality, 
and was generally unsystematic in his methods. 
To his credit be it said that his mentality was 
good, his habits exceptional, and his morals of 
a very high order. I have made it a rule to give 
my sons considerable latitude. I did not watch 
over them with the tender care so many parents 
lavish, and which so often softens a boy's char- 
acter and deprives him of self-reliance. 

Lee received the same treatment as any 
other office boy. He enjoyed no special privi- 
leges, and was subject to the same rigid discip- 
line that applied to all other employes. When 
his mistakes or shortcomings were reported to 
me, I was at times more severe in my rebuke 
than with others not so close to me. It is in 
this respect I fear I committed a grave blunder, 
for my occasional harsh words of criticism cut 
deeply into his sensitive nature, and very likely 
bred a dissatisfaction which unfortunately I 
did not perceive and consequently failed to cor- 

However, the boy made satisfactory prog- 
ress. I often watched his work silently, but 
again I committed the grave mistake of not 
patting him on the back and encouraging him 
by a few friendly words to even better effort. 
I learned later in life that a few encouraging 
words spoken at the proper time have a won- 


derfully good effect on the young, and produce 
excellent results even in the most listless. But 
I believed in iron discipline, which I applied as 
rigorously to myself as to those who worked 
for me. With all my faults and shortcomings 
in that direction, I can truthfully say that I 
have never intentionally asked anything of the 
humblest of my employes which I was not will- 
ing to do myself. 

One evening, at the expiration of his third 
business year, Lee, who by that time had pass- 
ed his eighteenth year, asked me for a private 
interview. At this meeting he informed me 
that he had decided to give up his position. 
Upon my inquiry as to what he proposed to do 
in the future, he stated that he had decided to 
become an actor. I laughed, for the idea ap- 
peared absurd. I therefore treated it as a 
joke. It was not long, however, before I dis- 
covered, to my utter amazement, that the boy 
had apparently determined to turn his back 
on the path intended for him, and had decided 
to try for a career which I would, under no 
circumstances, sanction. 

We reasoned together for hours during 
that unforgettable evening, but no argument, 
appeal, or threat that I could bring to bear 
seemed to make the slightest impression on 
him. For the first time in my life I was made 
aware that the authority which no one had 
ever questioned in my family before was slip- 
ping away from me. This incident was direful 


to me. Still I did not abandon hope. On the 
contrary, I renewed my efforts in every con- 
ceivable way to bring about a change of mind. 
When I discovered at last that my logic was 
not convincing and that my influence to a large 
degree had been destroyed, I brought the influ- 
ence of others into requisition. His mother 
spent many evenings pleading with him and 
shedding tears of regret over his course. My 
brother, to whom he was greatly attached, ex- 
hausted all of his resources without the slight- 
est success. I told my sainted friend, Rabbi 
Moses, of the impending danger to my son's 
career. He too co-operated with me in an en- 
deavor to wean Lee away from his delusion, 
but without result. 

I saw the futility of further effort. We 
therefore mutually agreed not to mention the 
subject for six months, and if after that period 
he should still be determined to fit himself for 
the stage 1 would interpose no further objec 
tion. When that period had elapsed he in- 
formed me that his mind was unchanged. I 
thereupon promised to furnish him the neces- 
sary means, in monthly installments, with which 
to equip himself to become an actor. 

It was a bitter pill, but after deep reflection 
I concluded that if my children should decide to 
adopt different courses from what my judgment 
had laid out for them, I would in future ac- 
quiesce as good-naturedly as possible. If my 
decisions for them proved faulty, the responsi- 



bility for the failure would be on my shoulders, 
while if they followed their own ambitions they 
could blame no one but themselves. I have 
religiously followed this rule in my family, 
although it has caused me many heartaches. 

Lee resigned his position in the fall of 1893 
to enter a dramatic school in New York. He 
graduated three years thereafter, equipped for 
the stage. I have convinced myself that during 
those years of study he combined close applica- 
tion with undiminished ardor. After a wait of 
a few months he secured an engagement with a 
company which toured the smaller towns in the 
Northwest with more or less financial success. 
The company closed its season in Louisville, 
and it was there that I had occasion to see my 
son for the first and last time in the role of a 
professional actor. He showed some talent, and 
might in the course of time have developed into 
an artist of decided merit. But the start was 
not encouraging nor was the future very bright. 
He had discovered that in an overcrowded pro- 
fession the road to the top is a long, tedious, and 
very trying one. He returned to New York 
after the company had disbanded, but failed 
after much search to find suitable employment. 

It was then that the scales fell from his eyes. 
He wrote to me in a manly way, frankly 
acknowledging Ms mistake and asking for em- 
ployment. It was an unexpected and joyful 
revelation. The mail was too slow for me to 
reply. I used the telegraph to congratulate 



him, expressing my delight to have him with 
me again. I arranged to place him in charge 
of our New York office as assistant manager 
and general all-around man. He came back 
to us the same sober, moral fellow he was be- 
fore he left his home. 

In the course of a few months opportunity 
arose by which his services could be more ad- 
vantageously utilized in the home office. He 
returned to Louisville and worked faithfully, 
advancing rapidly until he reached his twenty- 
fifth year, when we decided to make things 
more attractive to him by admitting him to the 
firm as a partner, with a respectable interest. 

Differences of opinion, however, rose be- 
tween us, which at times made our intercourse 
rather unpleasant. I made allowances, hoping 
that time would soften our relations, but my 
hopes were not realized. On the contrary, Lee 
showed a defiant spirit, which at times violated 
every filial duty. Candor and my desire to be 
fair again force me to admit that I was not 
entirely blameless in the matter. I remained 
the same old high-tempered, militant autocrat. 
Every one connected with our firm, not except- 
ing my good brother, understood my weakness 
in this respect and treated it charitably. My 
own son, whose heart beat warmly for his 
family, would not, for reasons which I could 
never make clear, bring himself to the point 
of doing likewise. It is not my object to air 
grievances in these pages against any member 
of my family. We all have our faults and 



shortcomings. Children can not expect to have 
ideal parents any more than parents can ex- 
pect to have blameless children. 

My relations with my son became strained 
to the breaking point. Again and again I 
sought to preserve the entente cordiale, if for 
no other purpose than to still the wagging 
tongues of the outside world. Finally I gave 
it up as a hopeless task. We met one Sunday 
morning, and it was mutually agreed that in 
the best interests of peace and happiness for 
both of us our partnership had better be dis- 
solved. Lee therefore withdrew from our firm 
in 1905, and my brother and I became pur- 
chasers of his interest. He received a com- 
fortable fortune and left for New York. 

I have written somewhat in detail of this un- 
pleasant and regrettable incident, but it is a 
necessary part of a narrative that aims to be 
a complete history of my family. In such a 
story it is inevitable that distasteful episodes 
should be chronicled. I have nothing to con- 
ceal, and there are no skeletons hidden in the 
closets of the Bernheims. In reciting my ex- 
periences with Lee I have sought to be fair and 
frank, and I have not spared myself. But the 
lesson and the moral of it have sunk very deeply 
into my mind. 

Since I have written of one son, let me now 
go on to the story of the rest of the boys. My 
second son, Morris Uri Bernheim, was born 
on July 16, 1877. He was given an excellent 
education, as it was expected that he would 


take up a profession. When he was in his 
nineteenth year he entered Yale, and made 
very satisfactory progress in his studies. When 
Lee decided to prepare for a stage career, 
Morris, who by that time had spent two years 
in college, voluntarily asked to be allowed to 
take his place in business. Of course I readily 

It was interesting to me to note the differ- 
ence between the two boys as they appeared at 
work. Both were moral, high-minded, and 
temperate, but Morris was much more methodi- 
cal in his work, and seemed to respond more 
quickly to discipline from the first. 

Profiting by my unhappy experience with 
Lee, I decided to place Morris in charge of im- 
portant work, that took him outside the office. 
Since I remained indoors at my desk, his duties 
brought him directly in contact with me for 
only a short time each day, and I figured that 
the chances for friction between us were slight. 
To a degree I was correct in this surmise, for 
our business intercourse continued pleasant 
and Morris seemed to develop admirably, lie 
seemed to love work, had excellent control of 
the people under him, and everything indicated 
that he was qualifying for a much-needed place 
in our organization. In 1900 he was given a 
partnership corresponding with that formerly 
owned by his brother Lee. 

But Morris bad a defect in his temperament 
which subjected him from youth to spells of 
moroseness. Barring these occasional moods, 



we continued with what were on the whole 
pleasant relations. During December, 1901, he 
married Miss Delia Fechheimer, of Cincinnati, 
a very estimable young woman of excellent 
family. From the time of his marriage the dis- 
cord between us seemed to gain fresh impetus. 
Slight differences became serious breaches, 
until one day my son asked me to step into our 
private office, where he informed me that he 
did not like the treatment he was receiving at 
my hands. At the same time he declared that he 
did not like the business he was engaged in, and 
had decided to withdraw from our firm. This 
was in June, 1903. Bernard and I became the 
purchasers of his share in the firm, which we 
had relinquished twelve years before in order 
to encourage the boys. 

I have felt that my "militarism" was the 
chief cause of the dissatisfaction that led Morris 
to withdraw. Yet when I look back over my 
own career, I find that this very quality of stern 
stick-to-it-iveness was early embedded in my 
makeup. It became a sort of fetich with me 
never to permit pleasure to interfere with my 
work. Seeking to mold a sensitive boy along 
these somewhat rigorous and uncompromising 
lines was perhaps an error. I might possibly 
have borne in mind that the circumstances of 
our upbringing were not the same. I was reared 
amid almost stern necessity, which was the 
mother of much character, while he was raised 
in an environment of complete comfort, which 
bordered on luxury. 



My youngest son, Elbridge Palmer Bern- 
heim, was born August 9, 1881, and was gradu- 
ated from Johns Hopkins University in 1902. 
Immediately after his graduation he entered our 
employ. Like his brothers, he showed great 
aptitude, good morals, a fine constitution, and 
a commendable sense of economy. His whole 
smiling personality is the kind that triumphs 
over all obstacles. Unless I am much mistaken 
in my estimate of him, he will be a conspicuous 
success in business. When Morris retired from 
our business, Palmer succeeded to the vacancy 
in the firm caused thereby. Our relations, both 
in and out of business, have been very satisfac- 
tory, and I hope they may continue so without 
interruption. It would be indeed a calamity to 
me if he, emulating the example of his elder 
brothers, should decide to enter a new field. He 
married Miss Florence Marcus in April, 1906. 
The union has been blessed with one child, born 
in May, 1907. 

My third son, Bertram Moses Bernheim, 
born February 15, 1879, was graduated from 
Johns Hopkins University as a Doctor of Medi- 
cine. He has the usual amount of Bernheim 
tenacity, is clear-headed, and I am confident 
will be heard from in his chosen profession. 
He has never tried his hand at business, and 
if I can help it he never will. He resides in 
Baltimore, where he happily married Miss 
Hilda Marcus. They are the parents of two 
children, one of whom bears my name. 



The Bebnheim Distilling Company. 

The injection of all this new blood into our 
business was like adding fresh fuel to a fur- 
nace. Our trade fairly leaped forward. In 
1902 the annual volume of it had grown to 
millions, and the capital invested amounted to 
several millions of dollars. I have always 
believed that a corporation has a great advan- 
tage over a simple partnership, particularly 
where a large capitalization is involved. The 
life of a corporation is not necessarily affected 
by the death of a shareholder, whereas in a 
partnership the sudden demise of a partner 
may seriously threaten or even jeopardize the 

My brother and I had the better part of our 
lives behind us; we were the principal owners 
of the capital in the business, and realizing the 
many disadvantages of a partnership, we de- 
cided, in 1903, to establish a corporation, under 
the name of the Bernheim Distilling Company. 
The paid-up capital was two millions of dollars. 
At the first election I was chosen President and 
Bernard was made Vice-president. 

I have always been deeply mindful of the 
loyalty and service of our employes, and with 
the establishment of the corporation we decided 
to admit many of our old co-workers as stock- 
holders. We agreed to carry the stock until 
they were ready to pay for it with their sav- 


ings. It is a matter of great pleasure for me 
to be able to record that in this way a number 
of deserving men have been able to share in our 

As the affairs of the new corporation ex- 
panded we found it to our advantage to acquire 
new properties. We became interested in the 
formation of the Commercial Distilling Com- 
pany of Terre Haute, Indiana, so as to obtain 
spirits at manufacturers' cost, and in 1906 we 
purchased the Warwick Distillery at Silver 
Creek, in Madison County. We also bought a 
smaller interest in the rye distillery of the 
Baltimore Distilling Company, located in Balti- 

As I write this history, the Bernheim Dis- 
tilling Company is more than maintaining its 
reputation for increasing activity and growing 
prosperity. Its earning capacity is large and 
steady and its financial status unshakable. I 
have every reason to believe that with its pres- 
ent organization it will not only hold but 
increase its commanding commercial position. 

At this point in my narrative I am aware of 
the fact that in my desire to present a complete- 
ly connected account of my own life I* have 
had to digress to somewhat prosaic business 
details, but they are so thoroughly bound up 
with my own affairs that to ignore them would 
be to leave a large void in my experiences. 

Happily I can hereafter forego all talk of 
trade, and become as it were the historian of 



days that, through sentiment and tender asso- 
ciation, were among the happiest of my life. 
Although chronologically I shall have to retrace 
my steps, I feel that the reader will perhaps 
bear with me as I turn back the pages of 
memory to the time when life and love were 
both young — 

"To dream the dreams of youth again, 
When we were twenty-one." 

The Romance of My Youth 

It will be recalled that when I began my 
business career at Paducah I had just passed 
my twenty-third year, and social life had many 
charms for me very naturally. But in those 
days society did not make such exacting de- 
mands as it does to-day. In a town the size of 
Paducah simplicity marked all gayeties. Such 
luxuries as fine clothes, carriages for parties, 
and elaborate gifts were almost unheard of. 
And yet beneath unpretentious exteriors loyal 
hearts leaped to happy responses. 

The wardrobes of the young women were 
typical of the simplicity of the times. If a girl 
bad a few fresh calico dresses to wear during 
the week and a nice all-wool merino dress for 
Sunday wear her outfit was deemed almost com- 
plete. Hats were bought only twice a year, and 
they ranged in price from two to five dollars 
apiece. Elaborate creations of the milliner's 


art, costing twenty-five or fifty dollars, would 
have created a sensation and would have been 
regarded as the very height of extravagance. 

There were many diversions to bring the 
young people together. Between the ordinary 
parties, where everybody met for a general 
good time, there were balls. Yet even for an 
, important event like this no very special prepa- 
rations were required. The young girls ap- 
peared in their best frocks and the young men 
in their Sunday clothes. In summer there were 
many outdoor picnics. We enjoyed the luxury 
of a theatrical performance only at long inter- 
vals, and then in an ill-equipped, unattractive 
hall. But life sped quickly and joyously for 
me those first years at Paducah. 

It was in 1870 that the town received the 
welcome influx of a group of charming Jewish 
families, which gave a better tone to our social 
life. Among the additions to our circle were 
the families of Alexander and Isaac Levi, who 
came from St. Louis; my uncles Benjamin 
Weille and M. Livingston, who had brought 
their families back from New York ; Mr. Morris 
Uri, who had moved from Cincinnati, and 
several others whose names I do not remember. 

Of the newcomers the Uris seemed from 
the start to be the most attractive, and they 
were destined to play a very important part 
in my young life, which was then shaping. 
The family consisted of the parents, one son, 
and five daughters. The ages of the children 



ranged from five to eighteen years. The name 
Uri was not unfamiliar to me. I had often 
heard it mentioned by my good aunt Jeannette 
Weille, for it was at the Uri home in Louis- 
ville that she met Mr. Weille, whom she after- 
ward married. Mrs. Uri was a brunette of 
medium build, attractive in features, with a 
cheerful disposition and most engaging man- 
ners. She radiated kindliness. One quickly 
recognized in her the ideal mother, idolized by 
husband and children alike. 

The family was not in particularly affluent 
circumstances, for Mr. Uri had been a sort of 
plaything of fortune. He was born in 1819, 
had enjoyed a good education, and had many 
delightful personal qualities. In many re- 
spects he reminded me of the portraits of 
Abraham Lincoln, for he was tall, almost lank, 
and wore a beard which made his resemblance 
to the great War President all the more strik- 
ing. His experiences are worth recounting. 
Like many other ambitious young Europeans, 
he left his home in Hechingen, Hohenzollern, 
Germany, in 1848, and came to America. 

After serving an apprenticeship as peddler 
in New York State he set out for the West, but 
gravitated South and settled in Paducah. 
Here, in partnership with his brother Abra- 
ham, who had followed him to the States, he 
opened a small country store. Their business 
prospered, and they were enabled to move to 
Louisville and embark in the wholesale dry 


goods business with Mr. Israel Heyman, the 
firm becoming Heyman & Uri. Their store 
was located on Main Street, near Fifth. The 
change promised well. Under the direction of 
Mr. Uri satisfactory progress was made until 
the Civil War broke out. Then all trade in the 
South stood still, and the young concern was 
wiped out of existence. 

After the failure Mr. Uri returned to Padu- 
cah, reopened his old business, and soon after 
became a partner of Wolf Brothers, who had 
built up a considerable business in the region 
south of Paducah and bordering on the Cum- 
berland and Tennessee rivers. 

Once more the Nemesis of war pursued Mr. 
Uri, for General Nathan Bedford Forrest 
visited Paducah during his raid in Western 
Kentucky and carried off much of the stock of 
the stores there. More than this, his advent 
created such a feeling of insecurity that many 
merchants wound up their affairs and removed 
to a region more immune from sudden and 
costly invasion. The firm of Wolf Brothers 
was dissolved. Again Mr. Uri. moved to Louis- 
ville, this time to engage with some partners in 
the wholesale boot and shoe business. He had 
sufficient capital remaining to discharge his 
share' of the debts of the defunct firm of Hey- 
man & Uri, which was an act eminently charac- 
teristic of his high business integrity. . 

With the close of the Civil War came appre- 
hension and disaster to commerce. The cur- 
rency situation was in a confused tangle and 



there was endless fluctuation in gold. As busi- 
ness order came out of all this chaos of recon- 
struction, many firms who had been weakened 
by bad debts in the South and by the shrinkage 
of prices of stocks were forced to the wall. 
Mr. Uri's firm tried manfully to stem the ad- 
verse tide, and for a time held its own some- 
what precariously, first in Louisville and then 
in Cincinnati. But the odds were too great, 
and it was forced into receivership. 

It was at this unhappy time that Mr. Uri 
bethought himself of the pleasant little Ken- 
tucky town on the banks of the Ohio River 
which had on two previous occasions offered 
him a haven for his wife and children. Thither 
he again turned his steps, and with the assist- 
ance of his good friend, the late Nathan Bloom, 
of Bamberger, Bloom & Co., he started a dry 
goods store on a modest scale. There was now 
every reason why Mr. Uri, despite his many 
buffets from evil fortune, should have looked 
forward confidently to the future, when in less 
than a year after his new start he was dealt a 
tragic blow. On July 22, 1871, his wife died, 
after a short illness. She was only in her forty- 
third year. Through the years of his changing 
fortunes she had been his helpmeet, steadfast 
in every sense, and her loss at the time when 
he most needed encouragement was a crushing 
blow. It is told among her children that on the 
day of her untimely death, and in the presence 
of their oldest daughter, he leaned tenderly 
over the dying form, whispering so that it was 


heard all over the room, "Malche, ich komme 
dir nach." (Amelia, I will follow you soon.) 

A year had scarcely elapsed before he made 
good this promise and followed her to the Great 
Beyond. The responsibility of the family so 
tragically bereft of both parents fell upon the 
shoulders of the eldest child, Mr. Nathan M. 
Uri, who was then about twenty-one years of 
age. Manfully he assumed the charge and be- 
came the head of the orphaned household. The 
eldest daughter, who was in her eighteenth 
year, resolutely took up the burdens of her 
four younger sisters, and carried on the domes- 
tic affairs with such tact, judgment, and good 
sense as to become an object of the deepest 
interest to me. 

My undisguised admiration for this self- 
possessed, independent, unselfish American girl 
who had proved her mettle in this trying ordeal 
ripened into love. After a courtship which ex- 
tended over several months I was made happy 
by the thrilling knowledge that my love was 
returned. In November, 1872, we secretly 
plighted our troth. I was twenty-four, she 

"With her advent into my life, the whole 
world took on a new glamor for me. I was not 
richly endowed with worldly goods, but I had 
bope, faith, and the inspiring knowledge that 
I had chosen a mate worthy of my highest am- 
bition. Our wedding, which took place Septem- 
ber 23, 1874, was one of the social events of 
Paducah. The Daily Kentuckian devoted two 


columns to a vivid description of it. I carefully 
preserved a copy of the article for years, but 
unfortunately it has since been lost. Paducah's 
first Rabbi, Doctor Leopold, performed the 
ceremony in the then newly finished synagogue, 
built by the first Jewish Congregation of the 

In fact, our wedding was the first to take 
place in a Jewish place of worship in that city. 
The ceremony was not lacking in any detail to 
make it complete. The music was furnished by 
the Temple choir, of which the bride was an 
active member. After the wedding service had 
been performed the company proceeded to the 
Concordia club-house, where a supper had been 
prepared by Mrs. Charles Unrath, who enjoyed 
quite a local reputation as a cook and caterer. 

My limited means did not permit of the 
extravagance of a wedding tour, so we went 
at once to the modest frame cottage of five 
rooms, which was owned by Mr. Henry Weil, 
whose tenants we were for nine years. Then I 
was able to provide a home of my own. There 
have been some big and swelling events in my 
life in later years, when I heard the plaudits of 
many men, but there is not one that I recall 
with more exquisite pleasure than that moment 
when first I led the wife of my heart to the 
sanctuary that we could call our home. 

"Heimath und Liebe"— the twin stars that 
guide every true romance — had at last shown 
me the way to happiness. 


My Motheb. 

In addition to setting up a shining mile- 
stone in my life's journey, my marriage marked 
the first public appearance of my mother in this 
country. With characteristic devotion and 
self-sacrifice she had sold all her personal and 
real estate in Freiburg, cut loose from the 
treasured associations of her native land, and 
made the long, hard journey to Kentucky, will- 
ing and glad — in her desire to afford me pleas- 
ure — to exchange the long-established use and 
well-seasoned comforts of her old home for the 
more primitive accommodations of a somewhat 
small and raw American town. Her action in 
this instance was one of an almost innumerable 
list of similar acts of affectionate service which 
betokened her great heart and boundless good- 
ness. She reached Paducah ten days before my 
wedding, bringing with her the two children of 
ber second marriage; Herman, who was then 
a boy of fourteen and who quickly learned to 
make himself useful in our store, and Sara, who 
was twelve and still in school. 

After a rest of a few days at the residence of 
her sister, Mrs. Benjamin "Weill e, my mother 
established herself in a comfortable cottage, and 
the transplanted little family took root in the 
new and friendly Kentucky soil. Bernard acted 
as head of the household, and right glad was he 
to be able to sit down again at a table where the 





fragrant and appetizing delicacies of boyhood 
days were once more served to him by loving 
hands. Those were happy days for all the 
Bernheims. With growing success our family 
affection had only bloomed more richly. 

My mother's home became the rallying-place 
for the whole clan. No celebration was real or 
complete unless it was held there. The joyous 
anniversaries of birth ; the glad greetings to the 
New Year; the ceremonial observances of re- 
ligious festivals — all transpired under her hos- 
pitable and generous roof, and remain to-day 
as cherished recollections. 

Mother had a rare faculty of attracting 
young and old alike, for she had the natural 
charm of real graciousness. Her appreciation 
and love for my wife were instantaneous ; from 
the moment they met, their relations were inti- 
mate and devoted. Our little ones adored her. 
To them "Grosmutter" was a sort of patron 
saint, and they flocked to her kindly arms as 
soon as they knew how to walk. 

In 1884 she returned to Germany to visit 
her brothers and to look once more upon dear 
and familiar scenes. On her return she frankly 
admitted that she was glad, as she expressed it, 
to be "home again," and nothing could have 
induced her to reside permanently in Europe 
again. So adaptable was she that within a few 
years she had become an enthusiastic American. 

She had the happiness of witnessing the 
marriage of all her children. To me was given 


the great privilege of having her as an honored 
guest under my roof during the last years of 
her beautiful life. It was there, surrounded by 
all her loved ones, that she breathed her last, 
on May 25, 1889, in her sixty-second year. In 
her death, sorrow laid its heavy hand on my 
immediate family for the first time in almost 
a generation. We had been peculiarly immune 
from sad visitations, and were correspondingly, 

With my mother's passing there slipped 
out of life a brave and gentle soul, whom to 
know was to love, revere, and honor. 

My Wife. 

Just as circumstances gave me the saintliest 
of mothers, so did destiny lead me to the most 
ideal of wives. Earely is it the good fortune of 
man to be so favored in the choice of his help- 
meet. From that day, nearly forty years ago, 
when first she came into my life, the world has 
been a better and dearer place. Her courage, 
faith, sacrifice, and endeavor have made possi- 
ble whatever success I have achieved. Her 
early household economies contributed as much 
to my material prosperity as the profits we 
derived from a young and struggling business 
by hard work. 

Wise in counsel, generous in forgiveness, 
she was diplomat, peacemaker, and general 



conserver of our home. Where I was the auto- 
crat, she was the gentle, brooding dove. It was 
due to her effective ministrations that I was en- 
abled to devote an undivided attention to busi- 

As our children came, her loveliness only 
ripened. Maternity invested her with a rich 
and beautiful dignity. Her loyalty as wife was 
only equaled by her devotion as mother. I 
have already enumerated our four sons. Three 
daughters have also blessed our union. They 
are Amelia, born November 23, 1884, Helen, 
born April 4, 1886, and Marguerite, born 
November 26, 1888. At this writing only two 
of our seven children remain unmarried — Lee, 
the eldest, and Marguerite, the youngest ; Millie 
having become the wife of Julian S. Rauh, of 
Cincinnati. Their union has been blessed with 
one daughter, Helen, born December 9, 1906. 
My daughter Helen married Albert S. Roth, of 
Cincinnati, on June 3, 1908. Both of my daugh- 
ters have chosen sturdy, self-reliant, and good 
men, and their futures promise well. 

We are the happy grandparents of five girls 
and one boy, the last mentioned having arrived 
January 7, 1909, at the home of Doctor Bert 
Bernheim in Baltimore. He bears my name, 
and I hope be will carry it worthily. 

It is not often that a man is able to look back 
over such a married life as has been my lot. 
Yet when I look at the dear comrade of all these 
precious years I need not wonder at my su- 


preme happiness. Though the frosts of many 
winters have whitened her hair, her face is 
still free from wrinkles, her skin is clear, her 
fine blue eyes as bright as on that day, long 
ago, when I first looked into them and saw 
therein the light of my future. Passing time 
has only illumined her loveliness. 

My wife has truly beaconed my path with 
love and service and lightened my burdens with 
faith and cheer. Were I to coin my gratitude 
into words, this chapter would be an unending 

Mr Politics and Eeligion. 

For lack of more human material this 
chronicle now nears its end. Before I close I 
shall presume a little more upon the forbear- 
ance of my descendants by reverting once more 
to my own affairs. I do so only in the hope 
that some germ of my business, political, or 
domestic creeds may develop useful activities 
in coming Bernheim generations. 

I believe that every American should be 
honestly interested in politics, for a strong, 
sane, healthy political activity is ever the safe- 
guard of a democracy. At the time of my ar- 
rival in this country in 1867 I affiliated myself 
with the Bepublican Party, because it stood 
for liberty in that it had freed the negro of 
his shackles. Being of a race that had long 
known the oppressor, this one principle alone 



appealed to me with great force. I have never 
severed my connection with the Republican 
Party; yet I have always respected any man's 
beliefs, if only they were sincere and honest. 

The opportunities to enjoy various political 
and public honors have come to me frequently, 
but I have almost invariably declined them. 
Up to my fortieth year my business kept me 
away from home the greater part of the year, 
and shortly thereafter my health suffered so 
seriously from overwork that I had to forego 
any outside demands on my strength and 

I have made it an ironclad rule not to accept 
any position of trust unless I was prepared to 
give it all the time and attention that its im- 
portance demanded. My friend, Governor W. 
0. Bradley, the first Republican Governor in 
the history of Kentucky, prevailed upon me to 
accept the post of Commissioner of the State 
Asylum for the Insane at Lakeland, and I 
served in that capacity for four years. The 
office was purely one of honor, but it had high 
responsibilities and duties, which I felt it in- 
cumbent upon me as a citizen of Kentucky not 
to shirk. It was a pleasure to render this serv- 
ice. Although I have been more or less active 
in my party for many years, this is the only 
political office I have ever held. I have, how- 
ever, been a contributor to all the campaign 
funds, and have participated in many conven- 
tions, acting always on the theory that to be a 


loyal citizen a man must be interested in the 
fundamental institutions of his country. In 
such interest and co-operation lies the real hope 
of pure and efficient government by and for the 

My intense pride in and loyalty to the faith 
of my fathers found expression soon after I 
became well established in America. I began 
to read and later became an occasional contribu- 
tor to the American Israelite, which was pub- 
lished in Cincinnati. This admirable periodi- 
cal was edited by Eabbi Isaac M. Wise, the 
"Old Man Eloquent" of our race in the New 

His was a noble and patriarchal figure; I 
had the honor to know him. It was Doctor 
Wise who led the great movement for Jewish 
Reform. He had the foresight to know that 
the old-fashioned Oriental form of Jewish 
worship was out of place in our progressive, 
Occidental civilization, and that to hold the 
interest and claim the loyalty of the rising 
generation in Israel it had to be adapted to the 
advanced and enlightened spirit of the age. To 
do this meant no compromise with cherished 
traditions or time-honored teachings. His wis- 
dom prevailed, and to-day wherever advanced 
Hebrews meet for worship the name of Rabbi 
Wise is blessed. 

I agreed heartily with his views. When 
the first Jewish Congregation was formed in 
Paducah in 1870 I had an active share in its 



organization. I served first as Secretary and 
later a? President. I shaped its course toward 
the Reformed ranks. When I moved to Louis- 
ville in 1888 I immediately joined the Congre- 
gation Adath Israel, and I have the distinction 
of having been one of its officers. 

But no honor that my connection with this 
synagogue has brought me compares with the 
privilege of having had a long and close associa- 
tion with its beloved pastor, the late lamented 
Rabbi Adolph Moses. I count myself fortunate 
in having been included among his friends. We 
shall not soon look upon the like of this great 
and good man again. He was more than minis- 
ter : he was an eloquent and impassioned leader 
of the hosts of men. His scholarship was ripe ; 
bis humanity was broad and illuminating; his 
tolerance was generous, and his whole fife a 
rich outpouring of high and loyal service for 
his race. Jew and Gentile alike delighted to 
revere and respect him. People of all creeds 
came to listen to the words of wisdom that fell 
from his devoted lips. I am indebted to him 
for many hours of inspiration and instruction, 
and our friendly relations continued with in- 
creasing intimacy until his untimely death on 
January 7, 1902. 

Through my influence, and with his hearty 
co-operation, the movement for Sunday serv- 
ices at the Temple was carried through. When 
the subject was first broached the conservatives 
looked at it askance. They feared it was too 


radical. However, Doctor Moses, who yielded 
to none in his fidelity to Jewish traditions, was 
broad-minded enough to realize that in these 
services lay the real hope of attracting the 
younger generation of Judaism to the standard 
of their Faith. 

It was impossible for the ancient habits of 
the orthodox Jew to compete with the customs 
of the country in which he lived. No custom 
was more fixed than that which made Sunday a 
general day of relaxation. It was a question of 
getting the Israelite to church on that day or 
not at all. We believed that it would stimulate 
interest in our whole creed, and would be attrac- 
tive alike to men and to women. 

After a campaign of education extending 
over some years we carried our point. The 
innovation was successful from the start, and 
has proved in every sense a wise and helpful 
step in the constructive as well as spiritual up- 
lift of our race. It is only due to Rabbi Moses 
to say that much of its favor grew out of his 
own large share in making the Sunday services 
richly interesting and fruitful. His sermons 
were pieces of almost inspired literature, and 
the memory of their eloquence and learning will 
linger long among those who were fortunate 
enough to hear them. 

The Sunday service for the Hebrew is part 
of what I think must be a larger plan for the 
future working out of the vast relation between 
people of different faiths the world over. It 



symbolizes the spirit of liberality, generosity, 
and reform. Without these attributes creeds 
will never unbend, and for that reason can not 
become closely ■ related. The most thrilling 
prospect before us to-day is the vision of the 
Brotherhood of Man, and it is by toleration 
alone that this vast and kindling harmony of 
races aud creeds can be achieved. In this re- 
spect America and Australia lead, and they will 
be the pioneers for the rest of the world. 

My Beotheb. 

It is peculiarly fitting, perhaps, that I 
should conclude this chronicle of long and lov- 
ing association with some tribute to him who 
has been my comrade through most of the years 
of my life. I refer to my brother Bernard, 
the playmate of my youth, the balance-wheel 
of my more strenuous days, and always my 
discreet and sympathetic co-worker. 

He was born in Schmieheim on December 
13, 1850, and there is a difference of only two 
years in our ages. In our boyhood we were 
almost inseparable. Early in life the distinct 
differences in our characteristics manifested 
themselves. He was large-hearted and ami- 
able, while I was impetuous and dominating. 
It followed that there were many conflicts in 
those early days, that were not always waged 
with words. But peace always followed. 


It was the intention of our family to 
prepare Bernard for a professional career but 
a career in Germany in those days did not have 
the tremendous possibilities of one in our own 
great Republic. At best he could have become 
only a petty provincial official. He had the 
good fortune to find employment as clerk in the 
office of a lawyer in Freiburg, where he earned 
good wages at a time when money was most 
needed to supply the necessities of our family. 
He remained at this post until I summoned hi m 
to Paducah in the winter of 1870, where we 
jointly took up the task of making our way in 
the world. He was green and raw when he 
landed in Kentucky, and hardly knew the En- 
glish alphabet. But with an aptitude and 
willingness which have always marked him he 
developed swiftly under my tutelage, and in 
less than ninety days I made a pretty good 
bookkeeper and correspondent out of him. 

How we struggled together in that new 
land, how by frugality and thrift and industry 
we slowly but surely reached the point where 
we branched out for ourselves, and how the 
increasing years only expanded our fortunes, 
has already been told in these pages. 

With the growth of our business the desire 
to revisit the scenes of his youth grew on him, 
and he made frequent trips to Europe. It was 
in one of these journeys that he found his wife, 
who was Miss Rosa Dreyfuss, the eldest daugh- 
ter of our uncle, Mr. Samuel Dreyfuss. They 


have been blessed with five children, the eldest, 
Lynn B. Bernheim, being an officer in the 
United States Navy, and the second, Frank, a 
valued employe of the Bernheim Distilling 

As I look in retrospect over the long years 
of my association with Bernard, I see more 
clearly and gratefully all the large and gener- 
ous qualities which have endeared him to me 
always. No two people could be more opposite 
in temperament than my brother and myself. 
He was always conservative, and less ambitious 
than I, preferring ease and comfort to the in- 
creasing responsibilities and worries of an ex- 
tensive business. While I gladly acknowledged 
his philosophy, I invariably opposed this idea. 
I believed in a vast trade empire. His con- 
servatism, however, often kept me out of 
ventures which later events proved would have 
been unwise and unprofitable. 

Quite naturally, in such a lengthy and close 
association, differences have arisen between us, 
but they were always of brief duration and 
swiftly subsided, largely because of his sunny 
nature and great heart, which never carried a 
grudge or bore malice. I realize that I have 
caused him many hours of anxiety and perhaps 
pain, and it is a pleasure to me now not only 
to set down this sincere expression of my regret 
for these occurrences, but to voice as well my 
earnest hope that he will be spared to me and 
his family for many years to come. 



Men of the type of Bernard are rare in this 
bustling age of selfish commercialism. He is 
as gentle and forgiving as he is big and manly. 
All the high qualities of honor, loyalty, and in- 
tegrity meet in his tender nature and make him 
loved and admired. Of him I can say, as the 
poet Byron said of his friend Sheridan, the 
great playwright — 

' ' Nature made but one such man. ' ' 

FALL OF 1908 







The Offer and the Acceptance. 

IN the career of every man, even in that of 
the merchant devoted to the prosaic pur- 
suits of trade, there are always a few 
great moments that stand out in his 
memory with peculiar vividness. In the pre- 
ceding narrative I have spoken of some events 
that stirred and moved me to profound emotion 
or feeling. But these were purely personal ex- 

I come now to one other occasion, perhaps 
the most conspicuous of my life, in which my 
brother had full share. I refer to our gift of 
the Thomas Jefferson monument to the city 
of Louisville. This was an act conceived in 
gratitude and actuated by patriotic feeling. 
The appreciation of it, so happily and gen- 
erously expressed by the citizens of the great 
Commonwealth which has given us sanctuary 
and success, made the presentation all the more 

It is more in the hope that my posterity may 
be inspired by the motives which led to this 
gift, rather than by the mere spectacular 


features of the occasion, that I set down the 
whole story here. The traditions of a nation 
are in its memorials, and the faith of a people 
may be exalted by tangible reminders of its 
departed leaders. If coming generations of 
Kentuckians gather from the heroic figure of 
the "Sage of Monticello" the lesson of real 
democracy and loyal civic duty, then my brother 
and I are content. 

The record of the Jefferson Monument can 
best be told perhaps in the terms of the official 
documents and newspaper accounts. The 
formal tender was made by us in the following 
letter to the Board of Park Commissioners : 

Louisville, Ky., Sept. 18, 1899. 

To the Hon. Charles P. Weaver, Mayor, and the 
Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Louis- 
ville — Gentlemen: Prompted by the desire to do 
something in honor of the city and State of our 
adoption, we have had in contemplation for some 
years a design, in the final execution of which we feel 
the time is now opportune to ask your co-operation. 

In common with great numbers of our fellow- 
citizens throughout the land, we are ardent admirers 
of the life and works of Thomas Jefferson, and believ- 
ing that art, and particularly that art which exhibits 
to the people an ever-living likeness of a great national 
personage, is an important factor in their education, 
we have determined to offer to the city of Louisville a 
bronze statue in heroic size of Thomas Jefferson. 

With this end in view, about three years ago we 
intrusted the work to the famous American sculptor, 


the Chevalier Moses Ezekiel, who has been knighted 
by the King of Italy for his achievements in art, and 
he has been ever since almost continuously engaged 
in its execution at his studio in Rome. The artist has 
completed his part of the task; the statue and its 
accompanying pedestal are now being cast in bronze 
by Gladenbeck, of Berlin, and we expect that the 
entire work will be finished within the next few 
months. We believe from all we can learn that the 
completed work will be a fine specimen of the dis- 
tinguished sculptor's skill, and a faithful representa- 
tion of one of the world's greatest statesmen. 

It is perhaps appropriate to outline briefly some 
of the more notable features of the work. The statue 
in bronze will be nine feet in height, and will repre- 
sent Jefferson in his thirty-third year, the time of 
his life when he wrote the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and will exhibit him holding that immortal 
document in his hand and about to offer it to the 
first Congress, assembled in Independence Hall. 

The statue will stand on a pedestal in bronze, also 
nine feet in height, and this, in turn, will rest upon a 
sub-base and steps of dark, highly polished native 
American granite, six feet in height, thus making the 
whole twenty-four feet in height. 

The bronze pedestal will take the form of the 
famous Liberty Bell, and on the sides of the bell the 
sculptor has modeled four female figures represent- 
ing Liberty, Equality, Justice, and the Brotherhood 
of Man — those four great cardinal principles which 
were so dear to the heart of Thomas Jefferson, and 
which are now a part of the very life of the American 

We propose to present this work, complete in all 
its details, to the city of Louisville on the Fourth of 



July, 1900, and in conneetion therewith, and also in 
order that the work may be suitably maintained and 
preserved, we will establish and place in the hands 
of proper trustees a permanent fund of $10,000, to 
be invested in United States or other safe bonds 
selected by the trustees. It is our desire that the 
income of this fund be applied to the maintenance 
of the statue, to the celebration at its base of each 
recurring Fourth of July with appropriate cere- 
monies, and to an award on that day of a prize or 
prizes to those pupils of the public schools of Louis- 
ville who shall prepare the best essay commemorative 
of some national event or character connected with 
the life and times of Thomas Jefferson : but these are 
matters of detail, which will be left to the trustees for 
their determination. 

"We ask of you and the city of Louisville only one 
thing in connection with this work, a proper site for 
the location of this statue. The artist, when in Louis- 
ville, himself selected as the most appropriate site the 
center of the plot of ground in Central Park immedi- 
ately west of the lodge at the Fourth Avenue entrance 
to the park. We highly approve this selection, and 
earnestly ask of you that you will take all such 
measures as will enable us to obtain that location as 
the site of the statue. It will take some months to 
obtain and place in position the necessary granite 
base for the statue, and we therefore beg to be advised 
as early as may be when we may make use of the site 
selected. We are, gentlemen, with great respect, etc., 

Isaac W. Bernheim, 
Bernard Bernheim. 



Their reply was as follows : 

Louisville, Ky., Sept. 20, 1899. 

Messrs. Isaac W. Bernheim and Bernard Bern- 
heim, Louisville, Ky. — Dear Sirs: The Board of Park 
Commissioners have very great pleasure in owning 
receipt of your valued communication of the 18th 
inst., coming to us through his Honor, Mayor Weaver. 

It is rare in any community, and altogether excep- 
tional in our own, that such public spirit and personal 
generosity find expression. In all ages the virtues of 
great men have been perpetuated before the eyes of 
their compatriots by outward symbols expressive of 
their lives and the benefits by them conferred on their 
country. In Rome and Greece these symbols took on 
the pleasing shape of monuments erected by the State, 
so artistically designed and gracefully executed that 
to-day they form the basis of true sculptural art. So 
well recognized is this method of commemorating the 
virtues of great men, and at the same time holding 
them up as examples to be followed, that from the 
greatest cities to the smaller village are to be found 
some statue erected to the memory of its greatest citi- 
zen. In our own country, in most instances, the honor 
of commemorating the deeds of our great men is left 
to the generosity of citizens whose love of country is 
marked by gifts worthy the subject and of the object 
to be attained. And it is from this source, gentlemen, 
that comes the magnificent offer embodied in your 

It is particularly gratifying that you have chosen 
to give patriotic direction to your munificence in 
commemorating the greatness of the author of the 
Declaration of American Independence, and in pro- 


viding for an annual educational incentive to the 
youth of our public schools, whose love of country 
shall be stimulated by gathering on the great national 
holiday about the statue which your personal gener- 
osity contributes as commemorative of the public vir- 
tues of the man whose national achievements are an 
essential part of our country's history. 

We note that the great sculptor has himself 
selected as the most beautiful and appropriate site 
for the erection of the statue of Jefferson, the spot 
indicated in Central Park. In accepting now the 
trust with which you honor Louisville, we are obliged 
to admonish you that the grounds whose great beauty 
has excited the enthusiasm and admiration of 
Chevalier Moses Ezekiel is not yet the public domain, 
but by agreement with the DuPont heirs the question 
of the value of the property has been submitted to 
the courts, and when this is determined the people 
of Louisville will through municipal direction pro- 
vide means for acquiring the great public pleasure 
ground whose exquisite beauty has attracted the 
attention of the sculptor. 

For more than five and twenty years, by the 
courtesy of the family whose head has donated the 
DuPont Manual Training School to the public use, 
the public has enjoyed their private grounds. The 
time has now come when the public will obtain them 
as their own, and your great generosity will furnish 
the first work of art to adorn the park. 

Thanking you again in behalf of the public, we 
have the honor to be, dear sirs, very truly yours, 

Board of Park Commissioners, 
By John B. Castleman, President. 


At the same time the Board of Park Com- 
missioners adopted the following resolntions: 

The Board of Park Commissioners of the city of 
Louisville, having received the communication from 
Messrs. Isaac W. Bernheim and Bernard Bernheim 
addressed to His Honor, the Mayor, and this Board 
jointly, in which they declare a purpose of donating 
to the city, to be placed in one of the parks, a statue 
of Thomas Jefferson, takes this method of expressing 
its sincere and cordial appreciation of the beautiful 
sentiment and generous public spirit that have moved 
these citizens to make the gift. 

Coming from a foreign country as poor boys, they 
have by their industry, sagacity, and faithful adher- 
ence to correct business principles, become prominent 
men of affairs in the city of their adoption. Now 
wishing to show their good-will in this substantial, 
public way, we can not refrain from an expression of 
our hearty indorsement of their commendable course. 

Therefore, be it resolved by this Board, That we, 
on behalf of the citizens of Louisville, most sincerely 
thank Messrs. Bernheim for their generosity, and 
most sincerely commend their public spirit. 

That we make such provisions as may be necessary 
to carry into effect their every wish in connection with 
the gift. 

That we co-operate with the city authorities in 
fully carrying out such wishes as may be expressed 
in suitably observing the occasion of the reception 
and dedication of the gift. And be it further 

Besolved, That an engrossed copy of these resolu- 
tions be prepared and presented to Messrs. Bernheim. 


108 the jefferson monument. 

The Commercial Club's Tribute. 

Following the announcement of our gift, 
my brother and I received many evidences of 
the appreciation of our fellow-citizens. None, 
however, was more grateful than the honor 
conferred on us by the Commercial Club at its 
New Year's reception held January 2, 1900. A 
large and brilliant company assembled at the 
Louisville Hotel parlors for the occasion. 

Mr. William E. Belknap, the President, in 
his opening address made the following state- 

Years ago the Commercial Club placed the name 
of Isaac W. Bernheim on its list of honorary mem- 
bers. His liberality to all worthy causes before being 
asked was then recognized. We are here in recogni- 
tion of the fact that the Messrs. Bernheim have pre- 
sented to the city a statue of Thomas Jefferson. It 
will speak to us and to future generations of the 
greatness of American citizenship. 

He then read the resolution, which had been 
engrossed and framed, and presented it to us. 
It was as follows: 

The Commercial Club, representing in large num- 
bers the financial, commercial, and manufacturing 
interests of the city of Louisville, desires to tender to 
you on behalf of all classes, congratulations and 
felicitations upon the munificent gift, the statue of 
Thomas Jefferson, recently tendered by you to this 


city, and to give expression to the gratitude and ad- 
miration of your fellow-townsmen for this splendid 
offering for the ornamentation of the city and the 
education of the people of Kentucky. 

In this great republic, now the teacher of all the 
world in the best methods of government, and wher- 
ever the glorious conflicts for liberty shall be felt, the 
name of him who, in the Declaration of Independence, 
America's title-deed of liberty, wrote these immortal 
words: "All men are created equal, and governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the gov- 
erned," shall be as eternal as Time itself. 

We sincerely trust that this superb gift of yours 
will stimulate like offerings from others of your 
fellow-citizens and prove the forerunner of many 
similar donations, and thus through your influence 
create in Louisville the manifestation of a municipal 
pride and liberality which will make it both beauti- 
ful and renowned, and bring to you increased delight 
and pleasure. 

In behalf of the 250,000 people of Louisville, in 
behalf of the city's highest and truest public spirit, 
and in behalf of its future commercial development 
and increase, and in behalf of all that makes nobler 
and better citizenship, and more devoted and loyal 
patriotism, we thank and congratulate you upon this 
splendid offering to Liberty's great apostle and to 
this city, which holds you in such high esteem. 

W. R. Belknap, President. 
W. C. Van Pelt, Secretary. 

Committee. — John J. Saunders, Chairman; Enos 
Spencer, Logan C. Murray, W. J. Lyons, Geo. C. 
Norton, Chas. P. Weaver, Mayor; Clarence Dallam, 
Bennett H. Young. 


It was a proud moment for both of us. I 
did my best to do justice to it in the following 
speech : 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : During the winter 
of '96, while abroad, you conferred upon me the dis- 
tinction of electing me an honorary member of the 
Commercial Club. To be thus honored by an organi- 
zation counting among its members all that is best, 
most progressive, liberal and wide awake, giving tone 
and character to the community, is indeed an honor 
of which any one might feel proud, and which I 
treasure to-day as one of the highest awards bestowed 
upon me as a citizen of Louisville. 

This morning my brother and myself are again 
honored by your organization, and for this honor my 
good brother and my humble self thank you most 
sincerely and from the bottom of our hearts. 

I have asked myself whether I am really deserving 
of all these honors. We have done only our duty, 
giving back to the community a part of our modest 
fortunes, which God Almighty, from whom all bless- 
ings flow, has bestowed upon us. 

It has been claimed, and it may be true, that 
Louisville can boast of but few men of a conspicuous 
public spirit, but this is rather the result of conditions 
than the fault of her citizens. The Civil War left 
this community in an impoverished condition, its 
commerce and manufactures paralyzed, its mer- 
chants reduced in resources and disheartened. "The 
Gateway of the South" led, unfortunately, to that 
section which was unmistakably poor. Desolation, 
waste, uncertainty, despair, and utter helplessness to 
cope with new conditions was the order of the day. 


Louisville and the South had to begin anew, and 
like all new beginners, made many costly errors. 
Still there was a steady progress made during the 
few years following the close of the war. The panic 
of 1873 intervened, and with it came a period of 
depression almost unparalleled in the history of the 
country. Everybody suffered, but Louisville and the 
South suffered most, because, like a new country, its 
resources were comparatively slender and its credit, 
therefore, was most seriously affected. It was only 
during the last years of the '70s the cloud began to 
lift and the true American spirit began to assert 

The patriotic Pennsylvanian, Kelly, it was who 
first drew the attention of the country at large to the 
magnificent possibilities of the iron industry of the 
South. We learned from Pennsylvania! A handful 
of Massachusetts cotton spinners encouraged us in 
the operation of the cotton mills. We learned from 
Massachusetts! And thus, by degrees, we became 
thoroughly saturated with the aims and tendencies 
of progressive Americanism. We learned to be toler- 
ant in our political views. Republican and Democrat 
began to know each other better and esteem each other 
higher. Politics ceased to be a factor, and business 
began to take the lead. 

In all these years Louisville and the country back 
of the "Gateway of the South" laid the foundation 
for substantial growth and solid prosperity. This 
foundation — it took a generation — is laid well and 
deep, and now, gentlemen, we are above ground; the 
structure is not completed — it v. ill take another 
generation to make this city great in all its appoint- 
ments and the peer of any inland city of this conti- 


Modem Americanism produces public-spirited 
men of the type of Peabody, Armour, Carnegie, 
Rockefeller, Stanford, Sutro, and hundreds of others. 
Louisville will have her full share of them, because 
with the development of the South the opportunities 
for building up greater fortunes will present them- 
selves, and greater fortunes beget greater liberality 
and greater public spirit. 

That sturdy Americanism which these last ten 
years has accomplished what it took other nations 
generations to accomplish, will and has set up a new 
and higher standard of civic pride and public spirit, 
but while this is true, we should ever remember that 
what has made this a possibility is the heritage handed 
down to us by the founders of this glorious country 
and its principles of freedom. 

The declaration that "all men are created equal" 
has acted as a magnet, to which was drawn with irre- 
sistible force from the older nations that material 
which is best and most valuable in the human family. 
Emigrants, poor in purse, but rich in brawn and 
muscle, possessing less of the higher education and 
more of practical common sense, religious but not 
bigoted, ambitious but not selfish, loving Liberty and 
Labor for Liberty and Labor's sake, have made this 
country their abiding place. 

Here, under Liberty's banner, we are taking the 
former slave, providing him with an education and 
fitting him out as a desirable citizen. The poor lad 
from Ireland, the hardy Englishman and Scotch- 
man, the phlegmatic German, the oppressed from all 
lands, are by the magic touch of Liberty, within a 
surprisingly short space of time, converted into 
patriotic and useful American citizens. We owe this 
to the founders of this country. 



To perpetuate these saintly principles, to hold 
them fresh in the minds of our people, we have decid- 
ed to erect a statue of Thomas Jefferson. The princi- 
ples of the Declaration of Independence are as old 
as the Bible itself, but Jefferson — the humane Jeffer- 
son — gave them force and effect. This giant and 
prophetic intellect recognized no distinction between 
color or race, between creed or class. To him, there- 
fore, struggling humanity owes a debt of gratitude 
which will ever fill the human breast. 

Our great warriors on land and sea have been 
honored with monuments in many places, but to us 
has been left the pleasant and patriotic duty to per- 
petuate fittingly his memory and to couple therewith 
an additional incentive for the growing generations 
of our public schools, to keep burning brightly the 
light of Freedom and Liberty. 

The schools are the nurseries of the Republic; as 
long as our children are taught to draw the lessons for 
the future from the experience of our glorious past, 
as long as they are imbued with the spirit and princi- 
ples which guided their forefathers in the upbiiilding 
of our institutions, our countrymen need not fear for 
its safety. This we hope to accomplish, in a limited 
degree at least, by the setting aside of a sufficient 
fund for the distribution of prizes to the pupils of our 
public schools for the best essay on different great 
national characters and events. 

The monument to Thomas Jefferson is expected to 
foster two great virtues, namely, a love of country 
and a love for art. The place which we had fondly 
expected to secure for our donation has, to the deepest 
regret of many, been so far denied us. We have no 
reproach for any one ; the question was overshadowed 
by more exciting issues, which had to find their adjust- 


ment at the ballot-box. We feel that we can* safely 
trust that the final verdict of our citizens at some 
future day will be more favorable to the cause. Cen- 
tral Park must become the property of the city, with 
or without the monument. To allow it to be divided 
into building lots would be a crime from which coming 
generations would suffer and for which they would 
have just cause to reproach us. 

It is the one spot within the city which has been 
preserved in all the glory of primitive Kentucky 
nature. True, we have other parks, grand and beauti- 
ful, but they are not, as it were, in "striking dis- 
tance" — not so located that the visiting stranger will 
be sure to see them. 

Central Park, gentlemen, adorned by such an 
attraction as my brother and myself, and others after 
us, will furnish, and beautified by the care and in- 
telligence of your excellent Board of Park Commis- 
sioners, will fill this void, and will supply, too, a 
playground and a breathing spot for your children 
and a place of gathering and recreation for those of 
our citizens who would like to see a stretch of green 
and a shady nook without taking a trip to Old- 
ham or Bullitt County. 

The Dedication. 

The happy consummation of our plan was 
reached on November 9, 1901, when the statue 
was unveiled with impressive ceremonies in 
front of the Court House, this site having been 
selected in preference to Central Park. What 
transpired on this auspicious occasion is set 


forth in the following account, which appeared 
in the Courier-Journal on the morning of the 
next day: 

Before an assemblage of persons who numbered 
fully 4,000, the bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson, 
President, statesman, patriot, and author of the 
Declaration of Independence, was unveiled. 

The statue was presented to the people of Louis- 
ville by Messrs. Isaac W. and Bernard Bernheim, 
and is a work of art which will stand to commemorate 
the illustrious Jefferson for years to come. Jt rests 
on a rich and heavy block of granite, and is located 
on Jefferson Street, directly in front of the Court 
House. Near the base of the statue proper, and fac- 
ing the Corinthian columns of the Court House, is 
a "figure representing Justice. This figure looks 
toward the statue of Henry Clay, Kentucky's great 
statesman, which stands in the center of the big 
rotunda of the Court House. After an eloquent 
address by former Gov. "W. 0. Bradley, and the sing- 
ing of the "Star-spangled Banner" by the vast 
crowd, Miss Ethel Bernheim, the little six-year-old 
daughter of Mr. B. Bernheim, pulled the cord which 
held the white canvas over the bronze figure. At 
12:59 o'clock the canvas was removed from the statue, 
the spectators sat silently, and the image of Jefferson, 
cast in cold metal, stood out. The keenest observer 
of this part of the ceremony was Sir Moses Ezekiel, 
the sculptor who modeled the statue and the four 
figures at its base. He sat like one transfixed when 
the cloth slipped from its fastenings and fell in a 
heap to the ground. 

There was a sudden burst of applause. The 
sculptor's black eyes brightened and he chuckled with 


true delight. It was his work. He had made the 
figure with his own hands. From material without 
shape or form he had wrought a likeness, almost per- 
fect in detail, of Thomas Jefferson, and the applause 
meant that hundreds of people around him approved 
his work. 


Long before twelve o'clock, the hour set for the 
unveiling, people thronged Jefferson Street between 
Fifth and Sixth. They edged their way close to the 
statue, but they were kept back a reasonable distance 
by a railing which inclosed the seats retained for the 
invited guests. The platform was generously decorat- 
ed with the national colors.. On the stand were many 
of the most prominent citizens of Louisville and Ken- 
tucky. Among them were Mayor Charles P. Weaver, 
ex-Governor W. 0. Bradley, Judge B. L. D. Guffy, 
Judge George DuRelle, Judge Sterling B. Toney, 
Judge James P. Gregory, Judge Henry S. Barker, 
ex-Judge J. Wheeler McGee, R. C. Kinkead, W. C. 
Owens, Samuel Grabfelder, Aaron Kohn, Joseph 
Selligman, John S. Morris, George D. Todd, William 
Thalheimer, E. H. Mark, Judge John ~W- Barr, and 
James S. Pirtle. 

The Louisville Military Band gave a concert while 
the people took their seats on the platform. 


At 12:05 o'clock Judge James S. Pirtle called the 
gathering to order. He said that the statue which 
was to be unveiled was a memorial to Thomas Jeffer- 



son, who was one of the first to speak out for freedom 
and equality of man. He said he hoped the statue 
would make the name of Jefferson more synonymous 
with the words, "liberty, equality, and fraternity," 
and would serve as an inspiration to the people of 
Louisville to aid in the preservation of the great prin- 
ciples of the government which had been laid by 
Thomas Jefferson. He said that Jefferson's framing 
of the Declaration of Independence, even if he had 
done nothing more for his people, was sufficient to 
make his name immortal. 

Rabbi H. G. Enelow delivered a prayer, and the 
people stood and sang "America." 


Mr. Pirtle introduced former Governor Bradley 
by saying that as Governor of Kentucky Mr. Bradley 
had been an emulator of Jefferson. 

The speaker began by saying that he did not agree 
with Jefferson concerning his policy as to constitu- 
tional government, but he had come to pay tribute to 
the works of the man who had contributed largely in 
making America what it is to-day. One by one he 
recorded the statesman's achievements. He said he 
could not speak of Jefferson's accomplishments as 
Foreign Minister or President, but of other things he 
did which he himself regarded as worthy deeds. He 
said that Jefferson had written the Declaration of 
Independence, which was the most remarkable and 
the greatest state paper known in history. He said 
this one act was enough to immortalize him and make 
Americans revere his name and memory for all time 
to come. 




He was the first to speak out against slavery and 
to say that there was nothing more certain in the books 
of fate than that slavery could not live. "If people 
had taken Jefferson's word, the war could have been 
averted and thousands of our bravest and best men 
spared. ' ' 

He said that Jefferson 's teaching in favor of religi- 
ous freedom, fair and impartial trial by jury, and the 
rule of the majority, were the great and underlying 
principles of the government. 

He said that Jefferson was the originator of the 
public-school system of the United States; in found- 
ing the University of Virginia he had done a noble 


Mr. Bradley related a conversation he had had 
with Mr. I. W. Bernheim when he was asked to make 
an address at the unveiling of the statue. Said he : 

"I will digress a moment to relate a conversation 
which occurred between one of the patriotic citizens, 
who presented this splendid statue to the city, and 
myself. Said he: 'I at first thought it would be most 
appropriate to present a statue of Abraham Lincoln; 
but on reflection I was satisfied that having been a 
Kentuckian he would most certainly be fitly remem- 
bered at an early day. After deliberation, it occurred 
to me, that as my brother and I were foreign born, 
had been naturalized in and protected by this' govern- 
ment, and under its benign rule had enjoyed so many 
blessings, that it would be a fitting thing to present 


the statue of him who had done more than any other 
man to make this country free, and who had made 
our success and happiness possible by inspiring 
Americans with the truth and justice of that immortal 
declaration, All men are created* equal. ' " 


In conclusion, Mr. Bradley said of Jefferson: 
"Though dead, he lives. He lives through ex- 
ample ; he lives through his teachings ; he lives in the 
Declaration ; he lives in the great University ; he lives 
in the freedom of religion; the liberty of conscience; 
the all-embracing freedom that now blesses the people 
of this country, and he lives in the hearts and minds 
of his countrymen. His is indeed one of the few 
immortal names that were not born to die." 

The statue was then unveiled and Battery A fired 
a salute. 


After the singing of the "Star-spangled Banner" 
Chairman Pirtle introduced Mayor "Weaver, saying 
it should be a source of great pleasure to Mr. Weaver, 
at the close of a successful administration as Mayor, 
to receive as the city's own such a beautiful piece of 
art. The Mayor made a short speech, in which he 
complimented Sir Moses Ezekiel 's genius and spoke of 
the generous spirit manifested by the Messrs. Bern- 
heim in making such a gift to the city. He said that 
their example was well worthy of emulation. On be- 
half of the people of the city, he accepted the statue 
and thanked the donors for it. 



There were cries for Ezekiel. The sculptor 
mounted the platform and was presented by Mr. 
Pirtle. Some one said ' ' Speech ! ' ' and Mr. Ezekiel 
heard what he said. He immediately spr.nng from 
the platform and ran over to a seat in the inclosure, 
where he hid himself behind the broad shoulders of 
Mayor Weaver and Mr. Bradley. 

There were also cries for Mr. I. W. Bernhehn, 
but he motioned to the bandmaster to strike up "My 
Old Kentucky Home." The big crowd stood as one 
person and sang the melody. The benediction was 
then pronounced by Rabbi Enelow. 

Editorial Comment. 

Not in any sense of vanity, but to emphasize 
the fact that our gift was received in the spirit 
in which it was given, I reproduce the editorial 
comments on the Commercial Club reception. 
One is from the Louisville Despatch, and is 
as follows: 


Louisville is fortunate in having such citizens ;is 
the Bernheim Brothers. The address delivered at 
the Commercial Club by Mr. I. W. Bernheim yester- 
day marks him as a student and a thinker as well as 
a successful business man. In a gift of a statue of 
Jefferson be displays great liberality, a recognition 


of his wealth as a public trust, and an appreciation 
of the life-principle of American civilization and 
progress as exemplified by the life and work of the 
man whose memory he would honor. The proposition 
to donate a sum of money to provide prizes for essays 
on national characters and events by pupils of the 
public schools, as a means of cultivating patriotism 
and an interest in public affairs, is no less commenda- 
ble than the gift of the statue of the foremost states- 
man of the age. 

The other is from the Courier-Journal, and 
reads : 


The New Year's gathering of the Commercial 
Club was a peculiarly pleasant occasion. The testi- 
monial to the Messrs. Bernheim in consideration of 
their donation of a statue of Thomas Jefferson to the 
city was in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson himself. 
The Commercial Club is a democratic organization in 
every sense and welcomes all to its membership, pro- 
vided only they are willing to aid in its work. 

It is a fact worthy of note that both last year and 
this time the election to honorary membership was 
of an adoptive citizen. Mr. Charles H. Shackleton, 
who first received this testimonial, like Mr. Isaac W. 
Bernheim, was not a Kentuckian and came to this 
city about a score of years ago. He was not a wealthy 
merchant, and though he filled a large and useful part 
in Louisville's commercial life, he had nothing to 
give to the Club's work beyond his time and the sug- 
gestions of a fruitful mind. Mr. Bernheim has de- 


voted time and talents to public movements, and, in 
addition, has been able to share the gifts of fortune 
with the city. Both men are equally honored, for 
each has done according to' his ability, and they are 
conspicuous examples of the class of citizens the 
principles of Jefferson have drawn to our shores. 

Mr. Bernheim in his remarks took occasion to urge 
renewed efforts to secure Central Park for the city. 
Assuredly this must be done, and we must also have 
a free library. The Commercial Club has pledged its 
influence to these objects of public interest. "What 
was said and done at yesterday's meeting will help 
along this and every other movement which, .tends 
to make this a greater and better city, adding not only 
to its wealth and population, but also to its culture. 

My tale is finished. It has wound along 
through sunlit highways and through valleys 
where sometimes shadows lurked. Yet every 
hardship that I endured has left me not only 
richer or wiser in human experience and knowl- 
edge, hut has helped to equip me with the 
health, vigor, and strength that now enables 
me to so sturdily and resolutely enter upon the 
autumn of life. 



[The Republic, St. Louis, Wednesday, April 17, 1896.] 


Position of the Dealers in Liquors Stated — Second 
Annual Convention of the National Wine and Spirit 
Dealers' Association — Saloons are the American 
Workmen's Clubs— Business before the Meeting. 

The second annual convention of the National Wine and 
Spirit Dealers' Association was called to order by President 
I. W. Bernheim, of Louisville, Ky., at 10 o'clock Tuesday 
morning, in the assembly room of the St. Nicholas Hotel. 
Over one hundred delegates were present. President Bern- 
heim 's opening remarks were as follows: 

"Gentlemen: It is a source of great pleasure to greet 
so large an attendance upon this, the second annual meeting 
of the National Wine and Spirit Association. 

"The National Wine and Spirit Association has, thanks 
to the efficient services of the Secretary and the devotion to 
duty of the Board of Control, instituted some measures which 
have proven beneficial. It has attempted some reforms 
which, I regret to say, have not fully materialized, and set 
in motion others which may prove of great value. 

' ' The unsolicited price list, with its baneful and mis- 
chievous influence, received careful attention, and that the 
efforts to suppress it have only been partially successful is 
in a measure due to the new conditions produced by the 
advance of the internal revenue tax and the extension of 
the bonded period. Settled values, a steady market, and 
above all a better understanding amongst ourselves, may in 
time produce a full realization of our efforts. 

"The prohibitionists (of the old school) have changed 
the 'theater of war' from the East and West to the South. 
The East and West have been taught by bitter experience 
that total prohibition by statutory enactments invariably 
results in the transfer of the trade from the well-regulated, 
lawfully licensed saloon, managed and operated by the law- 
abiding, responsible citizen, to that of the boot-legger and 
moonshiner, who is ever ready for the sake of gain to dis- 
regard alike the laws of the State and of the United States. 



"Iowa has lately enacted partly a license system; Kansas 
is ripe for resubmission; North Dakota will, at its next 
State election, take a vote on the repeal of the constitutional 
prohibition. Even one of the banner States of prohibition — 
the State of New Hampshire — shows signs of reawakening, 
and is giving strong evidence that the lawmakers recognize 
the truism that the world can not be legislated into an 
earthly paradise, after the old preconceived notion of the 
political prohibitignist. It is needless to reassert the princi- 
ple which has ever served us as a guide. 

"The National Wine and Spirit Association is neither the 
friend nor advocate of intemperance; it favors a fair license 
law which will place the retail trade in the hands of law- 
abiding citizens, and make the saloon not an evil, as many 
consider it, or an institution to be apologized for, as a large 
portion of our trade conceive it to be, but rather a most 
important factor in the development of our complex and 
surging civilization. In a word, the saloon should become 
the workingman's club in the full sense, and it should be 
so conducted as to make him happier, better, and more pros- 
perous and patriotic because of its existence and of his con- 
tact with it. 

"Our Association has shown during the past year a 
healthy increase in membership. Its finances are in good 

"The necessity of co-operation in warding off hostile 
legislation, the devising of means to lessen losses in the con- 
duct of our business, the simplifying of the internal revenue 
laws, without in the slightest degree decreasing their effi- 
ciency, are measures which might be discussed during our 
meeting with profit. ' ' 

On motion, the chair was instructed to appoint a com- 
mittee of five to which all resolutions and suggestions as to 
the welfare of the trade should be submitted without debate, 
and also a committee of five to examine the books of the 
Secretary and Treasurer, and report at the afternoon session. 

George G. Brown, of Kentucky, then read a paper on 
"The Relation of Manufacturers and Venders of Alcoholic 
Stimulants to Society." 

After the reading of Mr. Brown's paper the President 
announced the appointment of H. Van Nes, A. C. Sellner, 
George G. Brown, S. Wertheimer, and M. Eppstein as the 
Committee on Resolutions, with instructions to report at the 
afternoon session. The meeting then adjourned until 3 p. m. 

Upon reconvening in the afternoon the Convention was 
declared to be in executive session, and all present except 
members were excluded. It was said after the adjournment 



for the day that the executive session had been devoted to 
il,r discussion of the reports of the committees appointed 
during the forenoon, the nature of winch could not be 
learned, and the general discussion of business. 

At the session to be held this morning the election of 
officers for the ensuing year will be held The Convention 
will adjourn sine die about noon, and the members will 
devote the afternoon to sightseeing and the reception of 
courtesies tendered by the local members of the Association. 
To night an elaborate banquet will be spread by the bt. Louie 
members in honor of the visiting delegates, in the banqueting 

hall of the St. Nicholas. 

[The Courier-Journal. Louisville. Wednesday. January 1. 1896. 1 


Y. M. H. A. Will Celebrate this Evening— Messrs. ISeiin- 
heim's Gift— To-day also Marks the Association's 
Fifth Anniversary. 

The handsome new building of the Young Aleu 's Hebrew 
Association, on the east side of First Street, south of Walnut. 
will be dedicated to-night with proper ceremonies. 

At the same time the Association celebrates the fifth 
anniversary of the completion of its gymnasium and the 
beginning of its active usefulness. 

The Association was organized in the year 1890, and bad 
its origin in the philanthropic designs of Mr. I. W. Beru- 
heim, the first President of the Association, and who has 
continued over since in that office. Through the geuerous 
assistance and hearty co-operation of the best and most 
influential Jewish citizens, the money was raised with which 
to purchase a lot 50x250 feet, on First Street, running 
through to East. Street, and to erect thereon a complete 
gymnasium. The gvmuusiuni hall was finished in the latter 
part of 1890, and 'was dedicated January 1, 1891. It is 
admitted to be one of the best fitted and most modern gym- 
nasiums with baths in the city of Louisville. Its equipments 
are of the best and most approved character. At its head 
has been a succession of competent instructors. Professor 
tlearhart has been in charge for two years, and is such a 
universal favorite with the members that there is no doubt 
Hint lie will be re-elected for the next year. The classes are 
large and enthusiastic and are doing as good all-round work 
as is being done in any of the gymnasiums in the city. In 
the rear of the gymnasium is a large lot, used for a running 
track and outdoor exercises during the summer. Lights are 
provided at night, so that during the heated period it is not 
necessary to suspend the exercises of the gymnasium. 

The building that is to be dedicated to-night has been 
heretofore fully described. If is the design of Messrs. Clarke 
& Loomis, of this city, ami is in the style of the Italian 
Renaissance, of stone, pressed brick and terra cutta, with 
plate-glass windows. The main entrance is approached from 
the street by a wide flight of stone steps, with massive stone 



coping and pediments and granitoid walk in the yard 
from the steps to the vestibule. The vestibule floor is tiled 
and has marble wainscoting. One enters through rich but 
plain beveled plate-glass doors, in keeping with the design of 
the front. On the right of the center main hall is the parlor, 
16x26 feet; on the left the reception room, 16x17, and back 
of the reception room is the stair ball, with itB oak stair- 
case, and the toilet rooms. From this hall is also an entrance 
into the large gymnasium room. 

The second story has a library 16%x21 feet, and an 
adjoining study room 21x26 feet. These two rooms and hall 
can be thrown into one by means of large sliding dooTS. 

The third floor is devoted to club or lodge purposes, and 
has the required ante-room necessary for their convenience 
and mysteries. 

The interior is of natural wood finish. The building is 
heated by steam, lighted by electricity, and has all the latest 
improved fittings and modern conveniences. 

This building is the gift of Mr. I. W. Bernheim and Mr. 
Bernard Bernheim. The handsome furnishings of the build- 
ing were paid for by the proceeds of the bazar recently given 
at Music Hall for the benefit of the Association. 

During the past five years, although not thoroughly 
equipped for that purpose, the Young Men's Hebrew Asso- 
ciation has not lost, sight of the greater work that it had 
intended to do. A series of successful monthly literary 
entertainments have been given in the (ivmnasium Hall. 
I'pou tln> programmes were lectures upon various historical, 
popular, and scientific subjects. Or. Adolph Moses, who has 
had charge of this department, fixed a high standard of 
excellence thai has never been departed from. Taken all in 
all, the series of lectures delivered at this institution during 
its history have excited attention for their merit ami for the 
interest that the members have taken in them. 

The musical entertainments, although given as adjuncts 
to tlic lectures, have always been among its pleasant fea- 
tures. Contrary to the course usually adopted in such Institu- 
tions, those in charge of the musical part of the programme 
have endeavored to avoid making it the means of showing 
nil infant, prodigies or rank amateurs, but, on the contrary, 
have sought and succeeded in obtaining the services of people 
recognized in their particular line as artists. 

The Association, in spite of its name, is strictly non- 
sectarian. There is no qualification required for admission 
to membership except that the applicant must be of good 
moral character, and must come properly recommended. The 
present membership of the Association is about three hun- 
dred and fifty and just now is experiencing quite a boom. 
While the majority of the members are of Jewish birth, a 



large proportion are Christians. The position that this 
Association has taken upon this matter has attracted no 
little attention. In response to the question as to what pur- 
pose the Young Men's Hebrew Association could have in 
inviting Gentiles into its membership, the Secretary said: 

"It was primarily the desire on our part to cultivate a 
<doser and more intimate personal ami social relationship with 
our fellow-citizens. We could sec no reason for not inviting 
them. In our business life we meet all our fellow-citizens 
with the very happiest results, but this has been carried only 
to a limited degree into our social life. Those in charge of 
the policy of the Association felt that this was unfortunate, 
and that there ought to be no distinction between Jew and 
Gentile in our social relations. We objected to the idea of 
anything in the way of a social or personal club that should 
be distinctly for our own people. We, therefore, invited, and 
still invite, all who are qualified by character ami standing, 
.Tew or Gentile, to join us. We want our Christian ami 
Jewish young men to meet in a social way at. one place, at 
least, where they could learn to appreciate that hot li were 
endowed with the same virtues, with the same weaknesses, 
that each are fashioned in a similar mold, that the unfortu- 
nate prejudices of many years, now happily passing away, 
were built upon fiction, and that there is no natural antag- 
onism. Enmities based on prejudices we believe must pass 
away before a better mutual understanding that proves such 
prejudices to be unfounded. Our experiment has happily 
been a most successful one, and we feel every encouragement 
to continue as we have begun. ' ' 

Of the future of the Association there can be no doubt. 
It possesses a handsome "building, containing reception and 
reading rooms, together with its gymnasium, altogether its 
property costing in the neighborhood of $20,000, with a 
sufficient membership to assure its continued usefulness. 

The officers of the Association at this time are: I. W. 
Bernheini, President; Norton L. Goldsmith, Vice-president; 
Henry Levy, Treasurer; Alfred Selligman, Recording Secre- 
tary, and S. Kaufman, Custodian of Buildings and Financial 

The directors of the Association are: Bernard Bernheini, 
J. B. Washer, Fred Levy, Joseph "Cohen, Siegel Bonner, 
Henry Bakrow, and Isadore Rosenbaum. All of the officers 
are ex officio directors. 

The dedication services to-night will be of the most inter- 
esting character. All members of the Association ami their 
friends are invited to be present. The programme will 
include an opening prayer by Dr. A. Moses; an address, 
"Trade as a Profession," by Mr. Abraham Flexner, and 
remarks by the Rev. S. M. Hamilton. 

LTHE Tims. Louigville. Wednesday. January 15. 1896. 1 


Testimonial to the Bernheim Brothers by the Y. M. H. A. 

With words of profound gratitude iiiiil to tlic music of 
blinking glasses, the Board of Direetora and the members of 
the various committees of the Y. M. II. A. last night showed 
their appreciation of the efforts of Messrs. I. W. and 1'.. 
Bernheim iu behalf of the Association. The testimonial was 
in the nature of a banquet, which was given at the Gait 
House. The menu was elaborate and sufficient to satisfy the 
most fastidious. Mr. B. Bernheim WBB detained at home by 

Mr. D. I. Heyman presided gracefully as toastmaster. 
After the dinner had been disposed of, toasts were in order. 
Every one present was called on, and none failed to' respond. 
Mr. I. W. Bernheim made a very graceful speech. The 
decorations at the table were green and red. Mr. Bernheim 
leaves January 23d on an extended European trip, and the 
glasses clinked the last time to a " bou voyage." Those 
present were: Messrs. Dolf Wile, Barney Dreyfus, Henry 
Bakrow, Henry Levy, B. F. Washer, S. Bronner, Fred Levy, 
Dr. A. Moses, Charles Weinstock, William Rosenberg, Max- 
well Davis, M. H. Florsheim, Sam CJreenbaum. Joseph <!ohen, 
D. Davis. Jesse Sickles, .T. B. Washer, D. I. Heyman, Robert 
Marcus, A. L. Dembitz, Julius Barkhouse, Alfred Selligman, 
and [. P. Marcosson. 

[The Times. Louisville, Tuesday, May 12. 1896. J • 


Commercial Club's Progress of the Past Twelve Months 
Reviewed— Mr. I. W. Bernheim Elected Honorary 
Member for This Year. 

At the annual meeting of the Commercial Club, helil at 
the Board of Trade to-day, Secretary Thomas P. Craig read 
the ninth annual report of the Secretary of the Club. In 
starting he said that, while the Chib had not put through 
any gigantic schemes during the year, it had been far from 
idle. The work done had been chiefly in the way of enter- 
tainment. The Club assisted in entertaining the Ot. A. K'., 
and had done in this connection a great deal of advertising 
for the city; had entertained the Indiana Editorial Associ- 
ation, and had, with the Board of Trade, sent a business 
men's excursion to the Atlanta Exposition. 

During the year delegates were sent from the Club to a 
number of Important meetings. The Club had headed a 
movement to secure from the Legislature a reform in the 
matter of municipal taxation, and also one to have Louisville 
]>ut on the same footing with other cities in regard to 

exempting urn manufacturing enterprises from taxation. 

During the year the Club gained in membership forty-one, 
and lost by resignation, suspension, etc, one hundred and 
seven, leaving the membership at the end of the year four 
hundred. Many of those Inst, however, will be reinstated 

The financial statement showed the Club to be in a 
good condition. The present administration has carried out 
its resolve to live within the income derived from dues and 
fees. The receipts during the year were $2,090.63 and dis- 
bursements $1,793.10, leaving a balance in the treasury of 

The Secretary referred to the fact that Louisville is 
rapidly becoming a leading convention city, and cited tin- 
various bodies which will meet this year, and which, it is 


estimated, will bring one hundred thousand strangers to 
the city. 

The Secretary regretted that the Merchants' and Manu- 
facturers' Association, organized some years ago, has not 
been given propel support by the wholesale merchants. In 
order for the city to increase or even hold lier present trade, 
she should be more liberal in the distribution of free trans- 

When the time came for announcing the name of the 
public-spirited citizen on whom had been conferred the dis- 
tinction of honorary member for the year, Mr. Maxwell Davis, 
one of the retiring directors, addressed the meeting as 

"Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: There is nothing, in my 
judgment, that so much indicates the progress and well-being 
of a city as does the number of its enterprising and public- 
spirited residents. Their presence lends an air of prosperity 
and bespeaks the attractiveness of the place. As Emerson 
says: 'If there were any magnet that would point to the 
countries and houses where are the persons who are intrin- 
sically rich and powerful, I would sell all and buy it and 
put myself on the road to-day. The race goes with us on 
their credits. The knowledge that in the city is a man who 
invented the railroad raises the credit, of all the citizens. 
But enormous populations, if they be beggars, are disgusting, 
like a moving cheese, like hills of ants, or fleas — the more t In- 
worse. ' And so, when the Commercial Club was organized, 
with the sole purpose of promoting the welfare of the city, 
recognizing the truth of this, for the purpose of stimulating 
interest in its work, and to accord due recognition to such as 
have well served its purposes, it was enacted that each year 
the directory should select as an honorary member one man, 
pre-eminent by high ability and high character, their object 
being, as I have stated, not only to enliven an interest in the 
Commercial Club, but to excite in each and every citizen an 
interest in the welfare of his city, which is synonymous with 
the objects of the organization. It is, therefore, the duty of 
the directory, in making the selection of the person upon 
whom this honor is to be conferred, to consider who there is 
that has especially distinguished himself by acts of bench 
cenee, by public spirit, and by an exhibition of a lively 
interest in the workings of this (Hub. 

"It is proper that I should say, and I suppose that the 
same has and always will be the case, that more than one 
name came to the notice of your directory, for I am proud 
to say that there have always been in our city many men 
ready and willing to use their time and their means to further 
the general welfare of the community in which they live. 
This was particularly true this year, and when we finally 



determined upon the gentleman whose uame I will presently 
mention, we all realized that he, above almost any one else ill 
our city, has been one of the most faithful, most trilling;, 
most ready of the servants of the Commercial Club to do its 
biddings and to grant its askings. A man who is public- 
spirited because he loves to be; is charitable because it givea 
him pleasure to deal »ith that which he has been endowed, 
as it was intended that lie should. Appropriately can be 
applied to him the lines: 'He who well has served his coun- 
try and his country's wealth deserved.' I need but mention 
his name to have you bear me out when 1 say that the time 
has not been when he has been called upon for his service, 
his counsel or his money, but that he has responded cheer- 
fully, liberally, and readily. The Commercial Club is to be 
congratulated that we have as one of our members a man so 
thoroughly at heart in consonance with every movement and 
every suggestion made by it; aud a man who, having large 
personal interests, has never yet failed to recognize this 
organization aud its value to him as one of its citizens. 1 
am happy to announce to you, gentlemeu, that the person 
upon whom we confer this honor to-day is Mr. I. W. Bern- 
heim. " (Applause.) 

Then turning to Mr. Bernheini, Mr. Davis continued: 
"Mr. Bernheim: It is with extreme pleasure that 1 can 
state to you, as a representative of the directory, that 
although there were several favorites, yet, when it was 
announced that you had received the requisite number of 
votes determining you as the person elected, it was with an 
equanimity that but bespeaks the high esteem in which you 
are held by your fellow-citizens, that each and every member 
of our directory agreed that the honor had been well placed. 
May it be the good fortune of succeeding directories to deter- 
mine open a man who is so generally recognized as one who 
properly belongs on the roll of houor among the public- 
spirited citizens." (Long applause.) 

[The Times. Louisville. Wednesday. December 27, 1899] 


The Bbrniibims NowOwn the Bamberger-Bloom Building. 

The deal to purchase the Bamberger-Bloom building, 
which the Messrs. Bernheim have had on for several weeks, 
has been closed. The purchase price is reported as $75,000 
cash. The building belonged to the New York Life Insurance 
Company. It is six stories high and has a frontage of forty- 
six and one-half feet on Main Street and seventy-eight feet 
on Seventh Street. The Beruheims will remodel their pur 
chase inside and use it for their whisky business. The build- 
ing now occupied by them will be sold. Mr. Lithgow Smith, 
of the Columbia Finance and Trust Company, negotiated the 

I The Courier- Journal. Louisville. Sunday. December 16, 1901.! 


Senior Member of Bernheim Bros, started Without a 
Penny, Now Wealthy; Member of Board of Trade, 
Donor of Jefferron Statoe to City of Louisville. 

In reply to the above questions, I beg to say that the 
successful man usually possesses three qualities in a marked 
dogree — industry coupled with good health, capacity, and 

Industry implies steady application and singleness of pur- 
pose. The old theory that change of pasture makes fat cattle 
may hold good in farming, but in business, with slight excep- 
tions, it leads most always to failure. 

With capacity must be combined an absolute faith in the 
correctness of one's own judgment and the necessary self- 
confidence to be guided by it. 

Honesty is the banking capital of the struggling young 
man; his character and reputation must be jealously guarded 
and maintained. I have seen the morally weak and the dis- 
honestly inclined sooner or later come to grief. 

Wealth, in my humble opinion, is not a thing of luck, or 
the result of a deliberate and carefully fought campaign of 
industry, but rather the good judgment to take advantage, at 
the right time, of opportunities when they present themselves. 

The present day and time offer greater opportunities to 
make fortunes than any previous period in the history of 
our country. 

A population of seventy-five million of people, each with 
a purchasing and consuming capacity greater than that of 
the individual in any other country, Australia excepted, offers 
at home opportunities undreamed of a generation ago. Add 
to this, possibilities in our newly acquired territories, the 
opening up to civilization of Siberia and China, and the con 
sequent drafts on American manufactures, on American 
labor, and on American enterprise and capital, and it requires 
no prophet to foretell that we will, in the course of a com- 



paratively short period of years, face a financial and com- 
mercial activity which will greatly overmatch our present 
gratifying results. Our young men will participate in this 
glorious future, they will share in our increasing state of 
prosperity, and naturally will be the builders of great for- 
tunes. Let us hope, however, that while striving for riches, 
they will not forget the teachings of the fathers of our 
glorious country, but uphold and guard jealously our republi- 
can principles, because our free institutions have made our 
prosperity a possibility, and without them there can be 
neither progress uor happiness. 

IThe Courier-Journal, Louisville, Thursday. May 1, 1902.J 


Messrs. Behnheim Provide for Maintaining Statue — In- 
come about $350 a Year — Prizes for Best Essays on 
Thomas Jefferson — The Trustees are Named. 

A deed of trust will be recorded in the County Clerk's 
office this morning which will convey from Messrs. iBaac W. 
and Bernard Bernheim ten city bonds, known as "forty 
year 3% per cent refunding gold bonds, due July 1, 1941," 
to a board of trustees. The income from these bonds will be 
used in the maintenance of the statue of Thomas Jefferson, 
in front of the court house, and providing a prize or prizes 
annually for the best essay written by a pupil or pupils of 
the public schools commemorative of some national event or 
character connected with the life and times of Mr. Jefferson. 
The deed also provides for a prize for some one selected by 
the trustees who shall read annually on July 4, at the base 
of the statue, the Declaration of Independence. The bonds 
are of the face value of $10,000, but are worth about $11,000. 
The income will not be less than $350 a year. 

The trustees who were appointed by the Messrs. Bern- 
heim are as follows: D. 1. Heyman, lawyer; E. W. Hays, 
banker; James S. Pirtle, lawyer; Abraham Flexner, educa- 
tor; Thomas J. Wood, banker; W. O. Bradley, lawyer, and 
Alfred Selligman, lawyer. They met yesterday afternoon 
and organized as follows: D. I. Heyman, President; Alfred 
Selligman, Secretary; Thomas J. Wood, Abraham Flexner, 
and D. I. Heyman, committee to draft by-laws. The bonds 
have been turned over to the trustees and are deposited in a 
box in a safety vault, as provided in the deed. 

The deed explains the action of the Messrs. Bernheim, as 
follows: "The first parties have lately presented to the city 
of Louisville a statue in bronze of Thomas Jefferson by Sir 
Moses Ezekiel, which has been erected upon the site selected 
for it in front of the court house of Jefferson County, Ken- 
tucky, and desire, in order to fully carry into effect their 
plans in relation to said statue, to establish a permanent fund 


for the useR and purposes and upon the trusts herein de- 

The deed empowers the trustees to dispose of the bonds at 
any time, but the proceeds must be reinvested in city or 
United States bonds. 

The following relates to the use of the income: 

"The income of said trust fund, or so much thereof as 
the Board may deem necessary or appropriate, shall be 
applied by said Board as follows: 

"First. — To the maintenance of said statue, its biise, and 
the railing around it, in good order and condition. 

' ' Second. — To an award by the Board or a majority of 
its members on the 4th day of July in each year of a prize or 
prizes to those pupils of the public schools of the city of 
Louisville, without discrimination as to their race, color, 
religion, or condition, who shall prepare the best essay or 
essays commemorative of some national event or character 
connected with the life and times of Thomas Jefferson, and 
to the annual selection by the Board of some suitable person, 
an inhabitant of the city of Louisville, to whom the Board, 
if it sees fit, may also award a prize, and who shall, on that 
day, publicly read the Declaration of Independence at the 
base of said statue, the same to be accompanied by such 
other appropriate ceremonies as the Board may deem fit." 

Vacancies among the trustees shall be filled by the other 
members. The deed provides that the trustees shall elect a 
President and a Secretary and any officers they may see fit. 

Mr. Ileyman said yesterday afternoon that it is the inten- 
tion of the trustees, if not too near vacation, to offer prizes 
for essays this year, as provided by the deed. The trustees 
will arrange for reading the Declaration of Independence 
and appropriate exercises at the base of the statue on July 4. 

ITeleoram, January 15, 1907.J 

Lipman Levy, Secretary, 
Convention Hall, 
Atlanta, Oa. 
The construction of a modern college complete in its 
appointments will mark an epoch in the history of progres- 
sive American Israel. It will prove that, reform has taken 
deep root, and will enable it to blossom and bear fruit, all 
for the greater glory of God and the rejuvenation of his 
people. You may announce, should you deem it proper, my 
readiness to defray the expense of the library building should 
the Council decide to proceed with the college construction. 

Isaac W. Bernheim. 

I Telegram, Atlanta, Ga., January 17, 1907. 1 

I. W. Bernheim, 

Palm Beach. 
The Twentieth Council, on its own behalf and on behalf 
of the entire Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 
tenders you its sincere and profound thanks for your gener- 
ous gift- of a library building, which will so materially help 
to build up our great institution, and prays that you may 
witness the realization of your fondest hopes for all that is 
near and dear to your heart. 

Adolph Kratjs, President. 

Lipman Levy, Secretary. 

ITue Cincinnati Enquirer. January 17. 1907.1 


Within ;i short time work will be started 011 a series of 
buildings for the home of the Union of American Hebrew 
Congregations. They will be erected on the west side of 
Clifton Avenue, directly opposite Burnet Woods, on a lot 
having a frontage of seven hundred and fifty feet on the 
former thoroughfare and about twelve hundred feet deep. 

The site is known as the Cook tract, and was sold to the 
Building Committee, composed of Signiund Rheinstrom, 
Chairman; Isaac W. Beruheiui, Sol Fox, J. Walter Freiberg, 
Louis W. Goldman, and Lipman Levy, Secretary, through 
Broker Jacob Shottenfels. These representatives of the insti- 
tution provided for competitive plans which met with success. 
But five architects, all residents of Cincinnati, were invited 
to compete, and those of A. Lincoln Fechheimer, associated 
with Harry Hake, were decided to be the best. His sketches 
have just been returned from Atlanta, Georgia, where the 
organization recently held its annual meeting, and at which 
the plans were exhibited. One of the features of the session 
was the announcement of Isaac W. Bernhcim, one of the 
Building Committee, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, that 
he would pay the cost of building the library. This practi- 
cally amounts to a donation of $50,000. 

The character of the ground divides the site into two 
nearly equal parts, that facing the avenue being in the nature 
of a plateau, while the other is hilly, in some places dropping 
down one hundred feet below the level of the plateau. The 
buildings will be erected on the plateau, while the hilly 
grounds will be retained for recreation purposes. According 
to the accepted design, the approach to the plateau is by 
means of an imposing flight of stairs and ramps. P'acing the 
avenue is the Administration Building, and to the right the 
library, while to the left is the chapel. These structures will 
cost about $250,000. It is intended to erect these Imme- 
diately, and, consequently, when finished, they will represent 
a complete whole, and not necessarily dependent upon future 



buildings for the completion and beauty of the Bcheme as 
seen from the main entrance. Two future buildings will be 
erected toward the rear of the Administration Building, and 
are intended to form a quadrangle. 

These buildings, both as regards interior and exterior, 
follow the famous English universities in their character, 
and it is believed this will give a serious and scholastic char- 
acter to the whole scheme. The exterior will be of red brick, 
with stone trimmings, thus relieving the somber tone which 
would otherwise prevail. 

The Administration Building will contain the President's 
offices, three board rooms, and twelve class-rooms, each 
seating from ten to twenty-five students. There will also be 
an auditorium, capable of seating two hundred people, which 
can also be used as a chapel. The library will have a gen- 
eral reading room approximating forty square feet. Three 
small leading rooms and the librarian 's office will open from 
this general reading room. The stack rooms are planned to 
shelve fifty thousand volumes, and are capable of future 
extension. The chapel is designed to seat five hundred 

[The Courier-Journal, Louisville, February 1, 1910.] 


Vote to Legislate Themselves Oot op Office — School 
Boaiid Committee will go to Frankfort— Statue of 
Lincoln for New Male High School — Gift of Un- 
known Citizen. 

The School Trustees joined the movement last night that 
has for its purpose the abolishment of the School Board 
through the agency of a bill before the Legislature providing 
for a commission asking that the measure be passed. The 
resolutions were offered by Dr. I. N. Bloom and seconded by 
Pink Varble and Dr. J. Hunter Peake. The trustees present 
— there were eleven — all seemed overjoyed at the opportunity 
to assist in legislating themselves out of office. 

The resolutions provided that a committee of five be 
appointed by President R. J. Gough, to include himself, to go 
to Frankfort on the day the bill is reported out of committee 
to lend their efforts in hastening the vote that is to make it 
a law. President Gough appointed Trustees Bloom, Varble, 
Edelen, Rietze, and Gough as the committee. Secretary 
Charles C. Martin is to be a member of the body, as is also 
Norton Goldsmith, the Board's new attorney. Mr. Goldsmith 
was provided for under a separate resolution introduced by 
Dr. J. Hunter Peake. A resolution offered by Mr. Varble 
requested that Mayor W. O. Head, who is known to be 
heartily in favor of the measure's passage, join the School 
Board officials when they make their trip to the State's 

The adoption of these resolutions was the only business 
transacted last night. Just before adjournment Mr. Gold- 
smith made memorable his first night as the Board 's attorney 
by informing the members that an unnamed philanthropically 
inclined citizen of Louisville desired permission to present 
the Male High School with a statue of Abraham Lincoln. 
The statue is to be carved by one of the country's most 
famous sculptors and will be as imposing when completed as 
the Jefferson monument in front of the court house, which 
was the gift of the Bemheim brothers. 



The unknown man who is to present the city with the 
heroic likeness of the Great Emancipator asked permission to 
consult with the architects of the proposed new High School 
building and Olmstead Bros., the landscape artists, so that 
its size and location would be in harmony with the building 
and grounds. The School Trustees are overjoyed at the pros- 
pect of getting a new piece of statuary for the city and the 
schools. The estimated cost of the gift is $15,000. It will 
be situated somewhere on the Male IIij;li School lot at Brook 
and Breckinridge streets. Mr. Goldsmith refused to divulge 
the name of the man who is to present this fine monument 
to the citizens of Louisville. No conditions calling for ftn 
expenditure of money are attached to the gift. 


State of Kentucky 




Augustus E. Willson 

May 30, 1910. 

Messrs. Isaac W. Bernheim, 
Bernard Bernheim, 

Louisville, Ky. 

I have the honor to acknowledge your esteemed letter of 
the 27th advising me of your generous and patriotic present 
to the State of Kentucky of the bronze bust of Abraham 
Lincoln, suitably mounted on an appropriate marble pedestal, 
the work of Moses Ezekiel, the American sculptor, and will 
say to you that the Capitol Commission, to whom I presented 
the suggestion of Mr. Washer, not knowing at the time who 
the donors were, have directed that it be placed in the 
center of the rotunda. It seems to me, however, that ulti- 
mately it should go into one of the central corridors on the 
second floor, as the bust with the pedestal is really not large 
enough for the center of this immense rotunda, and I am 
planning to have a figure of heroic size for that place, but 
this bust will always have a place of honor in the Capitol 
so far as any act of ours can secure it, and until the larger 
statue fitting more correctly the immense size of the rotunda 
can be placed there, this will, during our administration, 
hold the place. 

With sincere thanks for the generous and patriotic spirit 
\Aich has moved you to place the beautiful gift, in which 
all of the Commission join, I am, 

Your friend, 

Augustus E. Willson, 

Governor of Kentucky, 
Chairman Capitol Commission. 

Echo from Schmieheim. 


^chmiehetm, $ept. 23, 1910. 

g(. pi. gcvtxheim, 

Souiaville, * 

gcint hcutiflen feterltchen CBht|U0 in bie 
von glhtten rcetaurivte §utm0c»0e flebenht hea 
(Men gjpenber© unb senbct hcrfltchcn S'cmk 
nni> (!Bru0». 

IHc bankbare ■gjcimat CScntctnbe. 

'Thoughts that were the seeds of action." 

— Emerson. 


Son, hear the instructions of thy Father, and forsake 
not the law of thy Mother. 

Honesty is the best policy. 

Do not buy what you do not want — it is dear at any 

Credit is a looking-glass — easily broken. 

Eemeraber always that labor is one of the conditions 
of our existence. 

Never bid another do what you can not do yourself. 

Never think any matter so trifling as not to deserve 

One to-day is worth two to-morrows. 

Without economy very few would bo rich: with it, none 
need be poor. 

If you waste an hour or two every day, and a day or 
two every now and then, you will soon run out of time. 

Either a man must be content with poverty or else be 
willing to deny himself some luxuries, and save to lay the 
basis of future independence. 

The rich men of to-day were the sons of poor men forty 
years ago. Habits of saving made them so. 

Build friendship on trade — don 't build trade on friendship.